Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Being Patient With Mother Earth
Over the years I have heard a number of times that a good landscape photographer should be able to get his or her large format camera set up in under a minute, this means getting the back pack off your back, unstrap tripod, set up tripod, unfold camera, attach lens, attach camera to tripod, attach focusing cloth, compose, calculate film exposure, get film holder, put film holder in camera, pull slide, make sure the shutter is closed and cocked and then for the magical part, click the shutter. I'm not sure I could manage quite that much speed in setting up my own view camera in minute or less, I think I would be doing good if I made it around 2 minutes , but I'm sure that there are some very talented photographers who could accomplish that task in the one minute time frame . I guess if I really wanted to make that elusive shot, where the light is disappearing in a matter of minutes or even seconds I should perhaps have a nice DSLR digital camera slung around my neck which would do the job much better in terms of capturing those unforeseen moments.
I think though one of the things that the view camera has really taught me, is to be patient, because quite often when I wait I get my shot, not always but more times than not and it helps to know one's surroundings a bit, when for example might be the time of day when the light is most beautiful, this way one can pre plan a bit, but the good old Earth is not very predictable, which suits me fine. I have found on many occasions that I have set my camera up for what seems like a promising picture only to have the light disappear after waiting for a while with the light having gone back behind clouds and which seems to me is gone for the day, so then I pack up my gear and at the very moment that I get everything loaded back into the back pack, the light once again shines forth, if I think the shot is worth it, out comes the gear again and the camera gets set up agian, and sometimes I actually get the shot that I was hoping for which which is a bonus for me.
The picture posted is from Schoen Lake Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, I was on a two week camping trip on the Island and decided to visit this area, when I got there it was raining buckets, so I set up my camp including my camera at the edge of the lake with a cover over it. I was the only one there and just waited out the rain, it rained all that afternoon with low cloud and all the next day, then just after my evening meal, the clouds started to break up and the sun came out, I was able to make several nice pictures with my view camera with wide and telephoto lenses. I don't always have that much time, but I figured what the hecj I was on vacation and used the time to read a book.