Sunday 27 May 2007


Responding to my story about taking a photograph in Venice, Wednesday Windows, a couple of regular readers have sent in their own photography stories.

The first comes from SHARON MAIL, who writes:
You are obviously very patient and willing to wait until you get the photo you want. However, I’m not the most patient of souls, but when I took this picture - from my hotel balcony in the Los Boliches area of Fuengirola in Spain in November 2003 - I was prepared to wait for about 15 minutes till the fishing boat arrived in place!
That exercise in patience resulted in a blazing sun shot that is given symmetry and interest by the presence of the boat silhouetted on the golden path of the rising sun.

The next story recounts a photography expedition by NICK CLARK:
Last October I was in Bruges with a friend who is also a keen photographer. Having previously visited the city during a beautifully sunny day, we had already seen it at its best. This time we were not so fortunate. It rained heavily and the day’s photography was largely washed out by overcast skies and perpetual rain.

Then, in the late afternoon, the clouds parted and the sun exploded through them creating an unbelievable atomic landscape. It happened just before sunset and all of the cobbled streets around us were turned orange by the glow.

At first, I was over-awed by the suddenness: so quickly did it occur that I was caught up in what was becoming an event. Even the staff in the various restaurants and bars around the main square (where we were) came out of doors to witness the passing sky.

Of course, I then realised that I had a chance of some good pictures and my friend and I had to make a decision as to what, in this beautiful city, we would go for. We chose differently. He ran out of the square to catch the scene at an area we called 'photographers corner' where the carillon tower peeks out slyly over floodlight buildings and the canal turns between them. I elected to stay in the square and photograph the sky over the buildings there where the tower was in silhouette.

By the time I had followed my friend, I had missed the best of it, but my first series of shots were quite different to his and so we were able to share of pictures later.

Here are two of mine from the square.

Whilst Sharon is right that sometimes the good photo is caught by patience, Nick’s experience is a reminder that, as often as not, it's about being a snappy snapper! About having the ‘luck’ to be in the right place at the right time -- with a camera! -- and seizing the moment.

I often think of advice given to me by my friend Pierre Vinet, who took all the stills photographs on The Lord of the Rings (right, with Peter Jackson grabbing his camera to photograph me photographing them!): “If you’ve seen it,” said Pierre, “you’ve missed it!”

So, perhaps the real secret of photography is to see the photo opportunity just before it occurs - whether that means waiting 15 minutes for the boat to get in position or just keeping your eye glued to the viewfinder and your sure-fire trigger-finger on the button ever-ready to shoot on sight!


SharonM said...

Many thanks for publishing my photo Brian. Although photography is now part of my job as a journalist (it certainly wasn't when that pic was taken) it's not something I've considered to be a hobby of mine... yet.

I really like Nick's photos - what magnificent colours.


Brian Sibley said...

Digital photography has made all the difference for me - I just shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot... And SOMETIMES I get lucky!

Boll Weavil said...

We all do Mr B. I think the most important thing is that we can concentrate on the inspiration behind the shot and not have to worry about the technical details