i am back from paradise...back to reality.
part of the reason i went to Hawai'i was to teach at Paradise Workshops with my friend Cory Lum. it was our first workshop and sort of an experiment to see whether or not the local photographers would welcome a series of photography workshops to help them take better pictures. Cory and i have talked about this off and on for over a year now and it was finally time to actually do it.
part of the workshop was a class "assignment". we sent everyone to the Honolulu Family Festival (i.e. carnival) to take pictures of the fair. 2 hours later, they had to edit and submit 3-5 of their best photos to be part of the final class critique.
during the critique, i asked one photographer how many frames they shot of a particular photo. the answer? one. i was a bit surprised. i was even more surprised to hear it again from another photographer. one of the advantages of digital is that it doesn't cost any more money to shoot one or one hundred photos. it just takes a little extra time to edit. back in the film days, i could understand only taking a few photos, because each one costs money. but one?
this was the perfect segue into teaching them about patience, 'working' the situation and taking chances.
as photographers, our instinct when we see something interesting is to take a picture and then move on. but why just take one? why leave right away? maybe something more interesting will appear? maybe not. sometimes we have to take the chance that something more might appear.
while i was walking around, i noticed these hands grasping on to the safety bar inside the caged enclosure of a ride. to me, the hands were interesting and the lines of the cage made it more graphically interesting. so i took a picture.
the picture was interesting and kinda cool, but rather than walk away, i decided to see what else might happen. so i stood there with my camera to my eye and waited. while i waited, the ride began to rotate toward me and the two pairs of hands became three pairs.
and then, the magical moment came and the joyful face of a happy teenager appeared.
woo hoo! there's the picture.
i didn't know it was going to happen. but i took a chance in case something did happen. i took some more pictures once the ride went into motion in case something else might appear, but nothing did. so yes, sometimes you don't always get rewarded.
in all, i hung around the ride for about 5 minutes, 3 of them with the camera to my face, and took over 50 pictures. instead of walking away with an interesting picture after 5 seconds and 5 frames, i now have a much more interesting picture in 5 minutes.
sometimes patience will pay off, sometimes it won't. sometimes it may take 5 minutes. sometimes it may take an hour, or even longer. but if you don't even try, you'll never know. that is the chance you have to take.