Learning Patience

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DeWolf_20120104_6192When I envisioned myself as a landscape photographer I thought how easy it would be to shoot “static” scenes. Wrong.

One of the most memorable times that debunked that misconception was a time when I was shooting in downtown Chicago. I noticed the way sunlight fell on one of the bridge towers along the Chicago River while I was aiming the camera at something else. I promised myself to come back the following week and get that shot.

I returned about ten days later and set up. I waited for over an hour for the scene to recreate itself. I kept checking my watch, reassuring myself that I was there at the right time. When the light failed to cast its glory on the tower, I realized that the early autumn sun was lower in the sky than it was ten days ago. The buildings now blocked it and the bridge tower would not be re-illuminated for another six months . . . plus ten days.

And how about those great scenes where you set up your tripod only to find the clouds managed to get between your subject and your light source. Those high clouds move so sloooowly. And just when that cloud looks like its going to get out of the way, a driver parks his car smack in the middle of your masterpiece.

This train picture took almost two hours. Every time I travel this road, it seems traffic is stopped for a train. It’s also one of the busiest lines in the country. To my chagrin, I waited an hour for the first train. When it did arrive the oncoming train was blocked by a train going in the opposite direction. Eventually, it worked.

You get the idea. Landscape photography has it’s own challenges as does portrait photography where that “little darling” won’t cooperate.

The best way to deal with these frustrations? Say, “cheese”.

Brian DeWolf
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