"Patience" pays off in photography

Patience Is Everything

Photography is about really seeing what’s in front of you. Now, I’m not suggesting pulling up to a scene and getting out of your car to take a snapshot, then hopping back into your car to continue on to the next location. I am a proponent of slowing yourself down and make a conscious effort at becoming aware of your surroundings before pressing the shutter.

Pay attention to the small details. Are the clouds in an eye pleasing spot? If not, will they look better in 15 minutes? Should you move to a better vantage point, maybe throw on an ND filter and make those clouds like like they are in motion?

Lets look at a scene I have seen dozens of times. They are the reflection pools on Quirpon Island at the north east tip of Newfoundland. I photograph them every year I visit this location, but on this year the sea fog had been rolling in and out all day. Above the sea fog was clear blue sky... so we watched, and waited, we all knew that a rainbow would appear if the sea fog receded later in the day. 

rainbow reflection at quirpon for web.jpg

I will admit that our patience had worn thin, and long after many of us threw in the towel, one person remained outside... after the bottle of wine had been opened, the sound of, "rainbow" was heard form the reflection pools. (I forget who that was, and i would give them credit... but I forget... so if you read this and remember, take the credit... you deserve it :-)

 We all scrambled and ran back outside... we were rewarded with what we had been focusing on all day, a rainbow in the reflection pool. 

When I am photographing wildlife, I want to put the animal into a landscape. Sure, its nice to get an image of a Canada Lynx in the winter, but why not wait, or return to get that photo that you really want? 


Lets take this image. I have been travelling to the Yukon for many years. Ive photographed many wild and captive Lynx in the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. One of the photos Ive always wanted was a Lynx peering out from behind bushes. 

I spotted the Lynx behind the trees covered in Hoar frost and waited for her to stop and peer through the bushes... 

When shooting the Northern Lights in Canada, I spend hours out in the cold at a perfect location,  waiting for the aurora borealis to appear. Sometimes I return night after night to get the shot I want. 

I would rather photograph the aurora in the spot I want versus the aurora in a spot that doesn't have a more interesting foreground.

In regards to the aurora photo with this post... Ive always wanted to take a photo of the aurora in a season where you would not normally think of seeing it. Then I saw a scene at a lake in the Yukon, there was a boat launch. What a better way to capture the aurora in a scene that spoke to a different season other than winter... aurora, with a boat in a dock... One a workshop one fall I decided that the boat launch would be a great place to go wait... well, we didn't have to wait long. The aurora started and the reflections and the aurora storm we had that night were just a bonus. 

I can still remember hearing Peter Burt making those chimpanzee noises as he was looking at his images thta night... 

northern lights_whitehorse-web.jpg

Good photography takes time. Very rarely will you stumble upon a great image on the side of the road. So, the question is... Are you willing to spend a few hours waiting for the perfect shot? Because that’s what professionals do. We go and sit, and wait for the image to come to us...

The lesson is, "The more patience you have, the better your travel photography will turn out in the long run."

Now run out there and have some patience to capture your next favourite photograph. Or better yet, check out my list of photo workshops... I will help you get to the right place and the right time at some of my favorite locations. 

Wildlife Workshops - https://www.kevinpepperphotography.com/wildlife-workshops-in-canada

Landscape Workshops - https://www.kevinpepperphotography.com/canadian-landscape-workshops