Patience, patience and yes more patience
I cannot believe how fast people expect things to be done, they order something on line and when it is not here the next day they get upset. They go into restaurants, order and start complaining that they have to wait before the waitress even gets to put the order in. Well it is the same thing with pictures, people drive to Waterton and if they do not get a picture in a couple minutes give up and go home. Some things require a lot of patience and sometimes that means coming back again and again. I have gone to take pictures of different things and after 20 or even 60 minutes I know that I am not going to get the shot that I want at that time, so I either leave and come back another day or I take a break for a while. Yes sometimes the day is a wash and the best thing that you can bring home are some memories. Other days things go amazingly well and you come home with dozens of images and life seems good!
So what can you do to improve your chances of getting a good, or great, picture.
– Go with an idea of things to shoot but don’t be stuck to only shoot these things, be flexible
– Take time to look around and actually see what there is to take pictures of. I had one student that would hit an area, jump out and shoot for 20 seconds and be ready to leave. We got to one area and he did that and then started to complain that he was bored (he was 40 years old so imagine what that sounded like). Then a student walked up to him and asked what he shot, the response was “nothing”, the student told Mr Speedy that in a place like Waterton he should take a minute to look around before judging an area (the same thing I was telling him all day). He went for a walk and started to actually see what was there, he was the last one to leave the next several areas that we went to and got some great pictures.
– Relax, chill out. The light may not be right now but maybe in a few minutes things will look better, or maybe an hour, or maybe you will need to come back another day.
– Take something to do. If you need to wait for the picture having something to keep your mind occupied will help. I will have a nap while I am waiting, even better when it is in the warm sun.
– Plan for a shot, check the sun location, check the weather, check webcams, ask people that know the area.
– If you are traveling a distance keep a few extra days available for bad weather. Not fun when spending a lot of money to not get a shot because the weather was not perfect when you are there.
– Finally (well not finally but I could go on for pages and I need to stop someplace) RELAX! If it did not work out today just relax and try again.