Taking a picture generally captures a fraction of a second in time.
And it's getting faster. On a sunny day most hobbyist photographers know the general rule of shooting pictures at 1/125th of a second. With the ever-increasing capabilities of mirrorless cameras, taking a snapshot can be achieved in 1/8000th of a second-and sometimes even faster than that.
Because taking a picture is a rapid process, it can be a mindless pastime for some-or a challenging race against time to capture the perfect image.
Living subjects are usually in constant motion. To get the perfect photo of a kid, a couple at their wedding, or a friend in the foreground of a rapidly changing landscape requires a lot of know-how.
You need to know your camera-it's capabilities, and the way that it performs in different environmental conditions.
You need to know your subject, and be able to predict what they will look like when they dance across the floor with the sunset peaking through the window, and the room lights reflecting off their hair.
You need to know your vision. What is it exactly that you are working so hard to capture? Are you looking to capture the love and connection between the subjects? Are you looking at the beauty of the big picture? Are you showcasing the style of a talented individual?
Or, do you just see it all there-the perfect image.
Just as in life, we are sometimes striving, considering all the variables, and readying to take action. Other times, there is not enough time to consider everything-maybe we just focus on one or two things.
And sometimes we just go.
Just as in life, the same is true in art.
I love taking sunset yoga classes. The beauty in seeing the ocean and sky reflect a multitude of changing colors is different each time.
With all the sand, wind, and my eyes oftentimes partially or fully obscured, I've never seen fit to take my DSLR with me. Despite that, I see plenty of pictures begging to be taken.
As the sun sets, and I emerge from Shavasana, I will zip open my sandy bag, and brush off my sandy phone, readying for a beautiful landscape shot. Occasionally I capture the solitude of the waves rippling over the sand. Other times I catch people reveling in the nightly ritual of the sun set.
One time my instructor faux-jokingly entered the frame as he packed up his equipment. In that moment I saw the picture before me. "No, it's okay," I said. Motioning him back over into the frame. "Actually, go over there-right in front of the sun. Do a pose."
This picture captures the beauty of my instructor Andrew's art. You may see it around as he uses it for some of his publicity and advertising now. Some of it was planned, but a lot of it wasn't. Opportunity just snapped.