Sunday, September 9, 2007

Waiting for the Right Moment

Yesterday, I wrote about how much patience one needs to photograph flowers in their natural setting. But that, of course, is nothing compared with the infinite patience one needs to photograph animals, whether captive or wild. Have you ever tried to take a picture of your cat or dog or bird? Do they ever pose or look the right way or do what you want them to do--or even sit still when you point the camera in their direction? Now just imagine semi-wild animals at a zoo or animal farm, such as a leopard or a peacock--sure, their movements might be predictable, but you could still be waiting for a very, very long time for them to get into the position you want. Finally, think about animals in the wild--you might expect birds to appear at specific times of the day at your birdfeeder, but do you really know when wild turkeys or deer might show up? And when they do, will the light be sufficient or the animals accepting of your presence or the surroundings complimentary? "Hey, Miss Bison, can you move a little to the left so that the tree branch doesn't appear to be coming out of your head?" The next time you see photos of wild animals, try to imagine how many hours--or even days or weeks--the photographer had to sit and wait to get that perfect shot.

It's strange to think that we expect more cooperation from people than we do from animals--after all, we can communicate much more easily with people and negotiate what we want. Nevertheless, as we all know, relating to other people requires an incredible amount of patience, because their wants and needs don't often coincide with our own.

Now think about what we expect from the Universe. Let's say, for example, that I've decided it's time for me to change jobs; having made that decision, I expect the Universe to provide me with a fantastic position--immediately! But if the time is not right for me to move on, I'll have to wait until it is. That's not to say that I shouldn't search the classifieds and send out my resume to prospective employers--I have to do my bit too. But I have to remember that it may take a long while and may require a lot more patience than I knew I had.

In the meantime, I might as well enjoy the view from where I'm now sitting, because that bison might just meander where I want her, and I'd better be ready to click my shutter.