In my last post, I started listing some things that I’ve learned about photography in the last year. Occasionally I feel stuck in a rut, possibly because I’m not learning as much (and as quickly) as when I was a beginner. Being able to reflect on a year’s photography helps remind me why I keep trying.
Item Learned #5: Enjoy June, it goes far too quickly.
In June, it feels like summer will last forever. On the weekends I get up early to visit the garden; the sun is bright, there’s dew on the grass, and the bees are everywhere. If I don’t get any pictures I love, I always think: that’s OK, there’s always next weekend. But no. I need to remind that June will pass in a heartbeat.
Item Learned #6: Just be patient
Sometimes I’m convinced that all of the ruby-throated hummingbirds of the world keep track of my whereabouts so that they can tease me. For 3 weekends in a row this summer, I spent hours in the gardens. I’d spot a hummingbird and it would fly off; so I’d stay in the general vicinity, waiting for its return. Of course it would never come back. I was finally rewarded a few weeks ago – not the showy male hummingbird, but a pretty female. I’ve been told that the great wildlife photographers spend days in a blind waiting for their subjects. They’re far more patient than I am.
Item Learned #7: Your results may vary
Twice a year I have the opportunity to photograph fireworks – July 4th at the lake, and Labor Day out in the country. I usually come away with a few shots that I like, but I’ve always had problems with the grand finale being overexposed. I finally got it right this fall by changing settings just before the big moment. (ISO 200, f/14.0, 5s).
The things I’m learning aren’t always technical. These days, they’re much simpler, but more profound: be patient. Be willing to adjust. Be willing to be uncomfortable. And most important: enjoy every minute.