One of the things that frustrates me as a professional photographer is the all too common belief that great photography is just a simple matter of pointing the camera and pressing the button and then, maybe, adding some weird, digital filter to the final photo. Photography is a skill, an art, a passion. Some have it and some don’t. There is a difference between taking a photograph and making a photograph.
I arrived at this spot (above) on a cold, February morning, somewhere between 8 and 9 o’clock. I didn’t like the light, so I moved on, wandering up and down the brook all day taking photos. I would come back to this scene every so often to see if it was ready for it’s closeup. This photograph was, finally, created around 5pm. I had about a ten minute window to setup my tripod and camera and find the angle I wanted.
Similarly, I arrived at this swamp between 8 and 9 am. This shot was made around 5:30pm. In reality, it took days, weeks, even months of sitting in (yes, IN) the swamp in the hot sun watching, and waiting. That time was also spent learning. And once the action began, I had to find ways to get my photos without interfering with the natural process.
I had posted this photo on Facebook, and a friend remarked on what a lucky shot it was. After I explained what it took to get the shot, another friend remarked, “It’s hard work being that lucky.”