We've become a society which looks to obtain everything instantaneously, whether that be our usage of the internet, microwave, text messages, or dating websites, people want things and they want them yesterday.
There's a misconception that faster is always better, I know, I know, some of you are probably rolling your eyes due to the fact your internet speeds are slower, what can I say, 7G is better than 5G (smirk). Seriously though, when was the last time any of you slowed down to watch a cloud move slowly as it changed shapes from a face, to a bird, to pooooof... just a line in the sky?
My rush to take 200 pictures during a single outing has diminished considerably over the last two years and I'm focused on shots of clarity more so than anything else. As I sit in the passenger seat more often than not, my eyes wander about the landscape around me and my mind drifts to stories which are made up, images of dinosaurs, dragons, knights, trolls, magic, darkness, and light. One can argue that I'm still a kid at heart and my imagination is definitely firing on all cylinders.
There are so many tricks to this photography craft, some quick, but many which take a great deal of patience. About three years or so ago, an employee at our local camera shop told me that the quality or content of my pictures wasn't that good. Now, I love honesty even though it stings and given the topic one can either learn from or shrink from another's opinion; I chose to learn from the critique as he wasn't saying that I sucked as much as he was saying that my stage within the process wasn't improving.
As time has progressed and I've traveled a bit more outside of my comfort zone, I've been able to take a step back and look into a mirror in order to see my progression. The key to my peace of mind and spirit is not rushing to shoot things in a way that have been seen by the entire planet.
A few years back I was at Pfeiffer Beach, in Monterey, CA and there were twenty to thirty photographers lined up on the beach, attempting to capture an image which has been photographed millions of times. As people stood on the beach readying their cameras for that epic moment of sunlight through a peephole in the famous rock, I edged closer to the water in an attempt to capture something unique which I hadn't seen up to this point. There was a young lady who took exception to me being "past the line" and she voiced her opinion about where I was before the magic hour was set to take place.
"Hey, you're going to move in the next ten minutes right...", she asked and it took every ounce of energy in me to smile back and say, "I am, I'll be gone before you all take the same shot".
Me, pops, and mah were on our way to Glacier Point, at Yosemite National Park when the road was clear and everything seemed to line up for us. I asked them to pull over so we could capture a shot or two. We stood around for a little over ten minutes, enjoying the views around us; I remember watching the clouds floating by all the while changing shapes and color.
I took a shot of mah which I would have missed if I hadn't learned to take a deep breath, set the composition, and slow down.