Why and How: Defining or Becoming a Good Photographer – Part 4
Quality 22: "Understanding the Words Patience and Perseverance"
If you really want to become a good photographer, you must learn to be patient and to persevere.
If you want to create interesting photographs, you must know that it is very rare to capture them in your first session. In landscape photography, the lighting may cause you to wait a long time.
In wildlife photography, animal attitudes can create delays in production that may last for days, especially in Europe.
Both qualities are closely related. I believe that perseverance is the most difficult to acquire. I often come back to a scene 7 or 8 times to create the picture I dreamed. Even if I try to build it, it is likely that the light is missing.
Patience and perseverance are also important to understand, as they enable the photographer to capture the soul of a scene. To create a good photo, you must be in communion with all the elements surrounding you. You must immerse yourself in the atmosphere. If you stay neutral, you will never achieve the photos you want.
Quality 23: "Having Seen the Light"
Light is one of the three essential points I use to build photos with the ACANP method. It is necessary to create interesting photos; however, it is not enough.
Even if all the photographers discuss lighting, few can boast of having seen "The Light", that is, “light” with a big “L”.
If this has happened to you then you understand what I mean.
If this has not happened to you yet, you will see that everything will be different in your photographs when you have experienced this unique moment.
When we have seen “ The Light" we know exactly how to photograph. We know what is needed for the photos to be perfect.
"The Light" is an important moment in the life of a good photographer.
From this day, nothing is the same again. It is as if we have reached the nirvana of photography.
During my workshops, this is a subject that I do not mention because it is not imaginable or easily understood by those who have not experienced this moment of grace.
However, I have been lucky to see trainees come back with ecstatic looks. Seeing the looks on their faces, I understood what had happened. I did not ask them anything. I simply knew.
A few hours after we talked about it, they took a giant step.
Every single good photographer I have met has had the privilege of experiencing this intense moment. They saw "The Light". They now know what it looks like.
Quality 24: "Preventing Accidental Photos"
You are a good photographer when you do not wait until you are on the field to create your photos.
You must be mentally prepared before shooting and after development.
It is certain that some of your photos are taken with luck, in fact, luck is a necessary factor to create interesting photos. You must search for it.
Although luck is necessary, it should not control your photographic process. You must always know exactly what you are looking for when you wish create photos. If you do not know, once you are on the field, it will be too late. The beautiful lights will pass quickly. The extraordinary animal attitudes will disappear before you have realized how you wish to portray them.
On the field, you will face unforeseen difficult situations. Nothing ever happens as you planned. You will have to react as quickly as possible. By preparing correctly, you will avoid wasting time trying to find solutions to problems that have recently arisen. Preparation allows you to maintain efficiency.
Quality 25: "Understanding Your Equipment Perfectly"
You are a good photographer if you have perfectly mastered your photographic equipment.
Your camera should not be a secret to you. You must master all the settings and understand their impacts on your photographs. For example, you need to know the impact of aperture or speed on specific photos. You must know how to use the level and how to check if the area of sharpness has enough width.
If you are struggling with choosing your camera settings, you will waste time when you are finally in the field. The lights or the animal attitudes will have disappeared by the time you find a solution.
Simply knowing how your camera works is not enough to be successful. In landscape photography, knowing how to use a tripod, a remote trigger, and graduated filters is essential. In wildlife photography, mastering a gimbal head and using a cloth photo blind is essential.
Each photographic discipline has its own equipment. You must master the equipment before capturing your photos in the field.
You must always use equipment adjusted for your specific needs. For example, if you practice underwater photography, you should not need to use a 70-200mm lens. If you practice European wildlife photography, a 400mm lens is a necessity.
In conclusion, you must be well informed about the photo equipment. Do not hesitate to contact other photographers who have expertise. You will save a lot of time in learning from their mistakes.
Quality 26: "Technique Is Only the Means of Expression"
Knowing how to use your equipment and photographic techniques is necessary to create interesting photos.
Knowing and mastering the techniques of composition, framing, the theory of photographic elements, and the theory of masses is not enough.
You must master technique, but your creativity depends on yourself. Your imagination, definition of a clear artistic approach, curiosity, and desire to express yourself with photographic language are elements that will allow you to create interesting photos.
For years, while I animated nature photography workshops, I noticed that many photographers believed that an expensive and good quality camera was the only essential item needed to create photos. They thought that it was enough to look through the viewfinder, and that the camera would do the work for them. This was a terrible mistake. A camera is only hardware. Without a brain to direct it, nothing extraordinary will happen.
Quality 27: "Having a Photographic Consciousness "
To become a good photographer, you must develop a photographic consciousness. You must be able to relate to other photographers who may or may not have the same photographic activity as you.
You must be able to situate yourself in your own time and at your own pace.
You must be able to analyze your own experiences to improve your artistic approach.
Experience allows you to give meaning and value to your technique. It is for this reason that you must acquire patience and perseverance.