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A Photography Lesson | Take your Time

On top of the Eiffel Tower, France, 2018. Photo Credit: Sean Hartman

An Essay By Sean Hartman

Take your Time

A Photography Lesson

To be a better photographer, you need to take your time; you need to stop and smell the flowers, hug a tree, turn off your phone, and listen to the birds’ songs. When you take your time in nature, you will notice more and more; a bee covered in pollen working for its queen, a spider building a web in the morning dew, or a momma bird feeding her chicks. It is only after you take your time, will you dicover the different faces and places of the world. Therefore, don’t interrupt a family eating dinner, don’t stop someone in a rush, and ask before you take the picture or be discrete and don’t ask.

When you take your time in the streets, you will notice the maze of wrinkles on the elderly man’s hands reading the newspaper, or the golden chain on the well-dressed man’s neck, or the bright blue eyes of a child holding on to her mother. It is only after you take your time will you notice the things that stick out, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t pass by something without looking at it twice.

When leaving to taking pictures, look around in your current setting, and understand that everything around you can be seen as art, you just have to take the time to see it that way. Without taking your time, your photos may come out blurry. If you rush in taking a picture of a still subject, you will scare the deer away with your footsteps. You will trip, fall, and break your camera. So slow down; patience is key.

Taking your time is a way to enjoy life; it is the little things that you need to appreciate first to reflect on the big things. For example, a momma bird in her nest feeding her chicks can force you to reflect upon your own family, like when your mother or father provides for you. After having a conversation with a wise old man, maybe you will see the similarities between his and your time, making you more appreciative of mind-blowing modern technology. There is so much to discover with a camera; all you need to do is take your time.

Penn State University, Pennsylvania, Summer of 2019. Photo Credit: Sean Hartman

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