Attention to details and the patience to observe

Posted on 8 Sep ’08 by Earl

_EBM0611.jpg This past weekend I took a walk in one of the local parks I often frequent and while strolling down the wooded nature trail I was keening aware of an abundance of spider webs. I truly hate it when one falls across my face or in my hair but they’re often hard to avoid.

It finally dawned on me that perhaps what was initially seen as an aggravation was actually an opportunity. Paying a little more attention I found a web that was occupied by the little fellow above.

A fair bit of breeze made trying to focus on this guy swinging on his web a real exercise, only solved through manual focus and setting the camera to shoot on continuos high.

_EBM0577.jpg I find spiders to be masters of patience and detail. They pick appropriate spots and build fantastic webs which are strong yet flexible. The anchor points for the span of these webs often seem impossible and great patience is exhibited waiting for the work to pay off. Any damage to the web is quickly repair or rebuilt

“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” – Anonymous

Patience to observe and attention to detail, definitely two attributes that apply to success in photography and most other endeavors.

Our modern daily lives require us to process so much information so quickly that often we don’t have time or even experience with either of these. I know I struggle with it. Photography allows me to spend time developing both.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Paul 8 Sep ’08 at 2:03 pm

    Excellent post, Earl. I suppose that you took these pictures with that hot new toy of yours! :-)

    Unfortunately, I’ve been very low on patience in a number of areas, including my photography. Hopefully this is a good reminder. ;-)

  2. Earl 8 Sep ’08 at 2:23 pm

    @Paul: Thanks! Yes, they were taken with the new toy. ;-)

    By the end of this walk it was feeling natural and automatic. The nice thing is the physical layout and controls are about the same as the D300 so it’s not going to take long to adjust. Switching between the two is also very doable from a comfort perspective.

    I tell you it must be the time of year. I’ve had to work to motivate myself, even with a wonderful new toy to play with! :-)

  3. Paul 8 Sep ’08 at 3:19 pm

    I need no motivation when I get a new toy, usually. However, it is becoming fall, although yesterday’s Charlotte temperature of almost 90 might beg to differ! The leaves will start to change soon!

    If you have time and inclination, I’d love to see two pictures taken of the exact same spot with the different cameras. That is, I’d like to see the same scene taken with a 50mm lens, or whichever non-DX lens you have available. Just to show the difference in angle of view. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do, but I’ll just have to live vicariously through you and your toy. :-) The wife told me that I could not get one this year. :-(

    I’d have to sell all of my other gear to get the D700!

  4. Earl 8 Sep ’08 at 4:02 pm

    @Paul: Good idea! I’d thought about doing that comparison when I was waiting for the D700 to arrive but then it got put on the back burner. I’ll set my tripod to assure the exact same height, angle, distance and compare the two…maybe with a 20mm, 50mm and then a 105mm.

    Check back I’ll have it posted this week. I was trying to think of something to post anyway.

    We’ll have to get together to shot sometime. You could get some real hands-on time with the D700 and take it for a “working drive”…if that wouldn’t be too much like torture. ;-)

    With your experience you could probably find some “secrets” using it I haven’t noticed yet.

  5. Paul 8 Sep ’08 at 4:28 pm

    I think that would be torturous after the fact. How could I even go back to using my D300 after such an exercise! ;-) At any rate, I’d love to get together for lunch on a weekend, as it’s the only time that I’m in town these days.

    I read your blog daily, so I’m sure that I’ll see it when you first post it. I’m curious about angle of view vs. apparent size. I see so many articles talking about, for example, a 100mm having the ‘magnification’ of a 150mm, which I doubt and how with a DX camera, you can get extra reach from the same lens, blah, blah, blah. Sure, it has the crop factor of 1.5, but doubtful, the magnification. I’d just like to see for myself. It is top on my list of things to do when I get one. :-)

    Food for thought.

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