Patience: A Photographer’s Must-Have

Having the patience to wait for a shot to happen is truly a Photographer’s virtue.

This lesson in my own photographic patience happened a number of years ago:

While out walking in a conservation area with a couple of friends and our small children, we came upon a collection of ice fishing huts sitting empty on the beach.  It had been a very mild winter, which meant that the huts had to stay on the land as there was not enough ice on the water. (!!)

Delighted by the artistic vision of these blue huts all lined up just for me and my camera, I began snapping away.  (I still lived in the city at the time; ice fishing huts were not something I had ever encountered before.  True story.)

The kids were equally as delighted by these “small houses” as I was.  For different reasons, of course.  They wanted to play in them, around them and even under them (if they had been allowed to by us moms!)  Their imaginations ran wild, as did their feet.  An impulsive game of hide-and-seek/tag erupted amongst the children.

Instinct took hold of me.  I could sense that a unique photographic moment would present itself.  Oh, heck – between the huts and kids, how could it not?  Well, I would be ready to capture it on film.  (Yes, I was shooting film that day, not digital…)

Determined to get what I knew would happen, I hunkered down in my vantage point, camera poised and ready, finger anxiously hovering over the trigger.

And there it was.

One of the boys popped out from between the huts and paused, just for a slight moment, contemplating what, I do not know.  *click*.  I got him.

Instantly, I snapped off another frame.  But when I looked through my view finder again, he wasn’t here.  My subject had scampered off, his attention caught by something else.  The moment was finished with.

I have always enjoyed lining these three shots up in this order, reliving a moment that unfolded in front of my lens.  I am glad I had the patience to capture it.

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