Much of photography often involves timing, luck, being at the right place at the right time, and at times patience is what’s needed most. When things are happening quickly, we rely on our instincts and experience, but when there’s time to get into the “zone”, we search and hope for whatever could make that particular scene better.
Having all the elements align to make a better photo is a rare event. The light is never right, there’s either a lack, too much, or not the right human element or it is missing whatever that one thing that elevates a picture above average. With people, more than the technical aspects of lighting and setting, it’s often that certain gesture or expression that define the image. In landscape photography, sometimes that wonderful play of light across the land can turn it into a truly magical event.
The above image taken in Portugal is an example of how sometimes good things happen to those who wait. After a thunderstorm had gone through, I could see the clouds breaking up and rays of sun dancing across the hillsides. Going to a favorite spot, I selected my angle and waited in the drizzle for a half hour and then for a few magical seconds this happened and I was ready.
Whether chasing sunbeams or exploring foreign alleyways, the same intuitive approach is used. Unless we are prepared to stage something, you never know what may happen so it is just a matter of searching, waiting, having an open mind and being ready when it happens. Like the alley in Naxos, Greece, the image came together when the cats wandered into the shot. In another alley in Lake Cuomo, Italy, the colors and textures caught my eye immediately but otherwise felt empty. After a few minutes this elderly lady slowly made her way up and I knew I had my shot.
That’s why photography is often a personal vision quest. Clients often wonder why we keep shooting when we should’ve gotten the shot by now. It’s because we never know if the next shot is going to be the better one. Good things do come to those who wait – but as someone else added, better things come to those who are patient.