The first workshop I was ever asked to conduct was for the then Maine Workshop (changed to the Maine Media Workshop}. The year was 1983, and I was right in the middle of my career as an advertising, corporate, and editorial photographer when I started accumulating what I began referring to as my “Personal Pearls of Wisdom”.
Since then, I have amassed a plethora of these Pearls, and always share them with my online class with the BPSOP, and in my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops I conduct around the planet; my private workshops and those I’m asked to teach with various organizations and schools.
“Steady as she goes” is a term I often say to a fellow photographer when I see them about to take a photo too soon. Over the years I’ve noticed that a student of mine will start shooting some kind of action before it’s ready to be taken. They don’t anticipate the action as far as when the subject is in just the right space to provide either balance, or one of the important ways to generate Visual Tension…the peak of action.
I would imagine it’s all tied into this digital age where everything needs to be done in a hurry. When you can go from the freezer, to the microwave, to the dinner table just three minutes.. That’s good if you’re late to work or wanting to see your favorite TV show. It’s not necessarily a good approach to capturing that moment in time when everything is in it’s place or that captured moment that leaves the action un-completed. That’s going to take a little more time, but it’s usually well worth it.
I was shooting for Alabama Tourism, and one sunrise we were walking along a boardwalk looking for photos that reflect the Alabama coast, tourism, and water activities. I came upon these benches shown in the above photo and thought they might make a good picture if given something else I could add…another “Layer of Interest”.
As I was standing there, out of the corner of my eye I saw an object coming into my frame. It was a small sailboat, and it was right on the horizon. I set my camera on a tripod, composed the benches the way I wanted, and waited….and waited. I knew what I wanted and hoped that the person sailing would accommodate me and my idea.
As it turned out, and following Eddie Adams famous quote that said, “When you get lucky, be ready”, I was ready and got the shot.
So, the next time you’re out shooting remember to wait for the right moment. Don’t be in such a hurry to start shooting, and maybe you too will get lucky…chill out as my kids use to say!!!
Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and be sure to check out my workshop schedule. In conjunction with the Santa Fe Workshops, I’ll be leading a group to Cuba for the third time next March. Come join me in what I’ll guarantee you to be an amazing experience, and you’ll return home with memorable photos from a wonderful country.
Don’t forget to send me a photo and question to: AskJoeB@gmail.com, and I’ll create a video critique for you.