Saturday, January 08, 2011

Just ducky

Wavy vision
Deerfield Beach, FL, December 2010
Click photo to embiggen

About this photo: Thematic Photographic explores water this week. Click here if you're in the mood to get a little wet.
#1 rule of photography: There are no rules.
#2 rule of photography: See #1 rule.

Despite this, I've developed a few, um, quirks over the years that have resulted in some surprisingly different deposits on film and, more recently, memory cards. The one that stands out is this:
Return often to the same scene. Shoot the same thing over and over until you get something you like.
This isn't so much a rule as it is as truth. The world around us changes constantly. So the way a particular scene or subject looks today may very well change radically when you return tomorrow.

Of course, you can come back tomorrow and it'll still be exactly the same. But what about the next day? Or the next? You'll never know if you aren't there. And if you've been using "been there, done that" as an excuse to not return to a specific place or topic, I humbly suggest reconsidering. Because there's no such thing as a done deal in photography.

This is my lame-oid way of explaining how I ended up standing on the edge of the same swimming pool, pointing my camera down at the overflow gutters. I assumed this stance at least once per day, hoping to capture some neat reflections as the shallow surface waves washed over the brightly painted concrete. Every day I'd return, wait for the moment of brightest sun, then shoot downward as total strangers whispered among themselves.

My kids pretended they didn't know me. Come to think of it, so did my wife. But I hung around and kept at it.

And then this duck showed up. Sometimes, patience is a good thing, even if your kids think you're insane.

Your turn: What does persistence mean to you?


Kalei's Best Friend said...

Regardless of what it is, persistence for me means trying to do something better or trying to do something in several different ways.. Either learning to do something in a shortcut way or eventually realizing I have to do it the more detailed way... With photos I will take shots from all different angles, different times of the day... I have learned that the sun works against me and only some shots work... Would u believe the best light for me to capture silhouettes is when the sun is just coming up? That the best macro shots are done in shade?/or cloudy ( at least for me it works, for some it won't).

21 Wits said...

Very awesome imprint, glad you made it back are so right about returning. For me, if it was important it will always be of importance! Little simple nothings I stumble upon. AS for persistence, continuing to do so creates results...always....and if I persist long enough it happens. Funny thing just last night I took one of those odd pictures my daughter (my only helpful critic) offers suggestions in better picture shut off your flash Mom....but you get the drift right!!! Like Mother like daughter I guess!

Rebecca said...

persistence to me is continuing to try to do something no matter how many times you fail

Vicki said...

hmmmmmmm ... So, can you tells us on what day you perfected this photo?

For me, returning doesn't necessarily work, but I will take many sequence (if the subject is moving) photos. (My old camera would take 27 in a row, the bigger the card, the more you can take.) I try to take as many pics in as many variations the first time. Sometimes, I am lucky enough to get back and take more.

photowannabe said...

Persistence means sticking to something until results happen.

I decided to join your theme of Wet today. Stop by and see my take on it.

Love your blog though I don't comment often enough. Keep being Persistent in your posting.

Glennis said...

Shoot the same thing over and over until you get something you like.

So true. Or even more to the point, until you get to know the true character of your subject, in all aspects.

I was grateful for my summer at the beach, to be able to take so many photos of the beach, the sky, the water, at so many different times of day.

Alexia said...

I learn something from pretty much every shot you post, Carmi.

Pat Tillett said...

I totally agree about the rules! I've only taken one photography class, I dropped it very quickly. I'm pretty sure if I'd stayed in the class and follow all the silly "photography" rules, I would have put away my camera for good.

Full-On-Forward said...

THIS is what I've been looking for! I'll be back, day after day--to see what changes!

Great Great stuff!

A New Follower,


LOL: Word verification is Folly: What you and I do day after day at the same spots, some would say to get a/the perfect shot!!

Also our SC Beach where a Fish Kill recently washed up! Damn those Mayans and their Calendar!

bon bon said...

an excellent rule! goes hand in hand with "anything worth doing is worth doing right".

now if i could just afford that return trip to paris...