Recently I was asked how I got the gull to sit still long enough for me to take the 4 minute exposure used in this image.
Long exposure photography requires patience. If you do not have it, you must learn it. If that fails, take up something else.
With patience, you start to observe your surroundings. Over time, and much practice, you may learn something interesting about your natural surroundings. After a lot of images, and lots of time spent along the shore, at marshes, and in really bad weather, I noticed one day that birds seem to settle on a rock or outcrop, on in this case a piling at certain times. When there is change in the weather (either a storm coming in or ending for example) the birds tended to settle down. So I started to try my luck, and use my patience.
The virtue of patience is not a new revelation; it just took me a while to see it and apply it to my photography.
Long exposure photography captures people's imagination as it reveals the hidden aspects of our surroundings; it captures the effect of time. It also reveals something of the photographer to him/herself. Patience and time seem to go together in revealing the hidden.
Patience, especially during these strange times, is very important.
We are very fortunate on the Island being so close to wilderness. On a clear Sunday morning I went for a 30 minute hike with photo buddy Brad Powell of www.bpfoto.ca to take some images of Ammonite Falls. Brad knows a special route in - we met only 3 others on the trail. This is a magical valley surrounding Benson Creek as it flows from Mt. Benson towards the ocean. We definitely plan to do a full day trip back into the area when the light is better and the fall rains begin to swell the creeks. Here are a couple of recent images from my first trip to the falls.
There are signs of early spring run-off everyone. A very good time to go out to the woods for some "forest cleansing" - enjoy the fresh air, clean out the winter cobwebs and watch the renewal of life all around us.
Everyone everywhere loves a sunset. People are drawn to a sunset no matter where they live.
Life seems to slow down, become calm. The birds settle in for the night. The sounds of the animals become quiet. The trees seem to stand still. As this quiet calms settles over the surroundings, your mind relaxes. You quietly contemplate the approaching darkness - the fear that seems to lurk at the edge of the darkness is slowly pushed back until everything is at peace. You sleep awaiting the freshness of the next day.
The snow and cold temperature means I spend time on processing images from the past and not out there with my camera. This is a scene from last fall while walking through a local favourite, Bowen Park in Nanaimo. There used to be a beautiful tree arching out over the cascade as the river wound its way through the park to the ocean. Unfortunately the tree has been damaged by another larger tree falling down due to the collapsing bank. While we all enjoy the park, the downside is all the foot traffic is damaging the river bank and root structures.
The lovely moss covering the sandstone that surrounds the river channel transports you to a fairy tale land - some place where creatures of our imaginary world might be found.
A short walk along the river takes you away from the worries of the world. A photographer I respect and admire spoke of mindfulness in photography - about connecting with the surroundings and living in the moment. Beauty and peace are always there - you just have to open your mind to see it.