In today’s fast-paced world of instant gratification, it’s easy to get sucked in and join the rush. And although being in a rush can help you get a lot of things done, it also makes you miss out on truly experiencing moments. It’s like you moved so quickly that you were never really “there.”
Lately, I’ve really tried to slow down in a lot of areas in life in order to be more present and experience moments more fully. I’ve slowed down my normal hiking pace and I’ve been stopping more frequently to take a look around. As a result, I feel like I’ve seen many places more deeply and have seen things I wouldn’t have noticed at all if I was in a rush.
I often see people walk up to a flower, quickly take one photo, and then move on. And this is perfectly fine if you’re just looking for a record of seeing the flower, but if you’re looking to create an image that expresses something more about your subject, then consider slowing down and spending more time with your subject before you even start thinking about taking a photo.
Being in a rush can make it seem like you’re more likely to “get the shot,” but rushing will make you overlook so many opportunities. Many times, when you start slowing down, you’ll start off wanting to photograph one thing but then as you spend more time exploring that subject you notice something even more interesting to photograph.
When you’re in a rush, there’s more mental pressure to get a good photo. When you choose to slow down, and just be present in the moment, then the photo becomes secondary — just as it should be. In photography (and any form of art), if you really want to capture the beauty of a scene, you must first really experience it. This leads to you really “seeing” your subject for what it really is, and helps you determine what you want to say about your subject.
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About the Author: Steve Berardi is a nature photographer, web developer, and founder of PhotoNaturalist. You can usually find him hiking in the beautiful mountains and deserts of southern California.