Stephen Kirkpatrick

Friday, December 30, 2011

It Just Takes Time



“I have often thought that if photography were difficult in the true sense of the term - meaning that the creation of a simple photograph would entail as much time and effort as the production of a good watercolor or etching - there would be a vast improvement in total output. The sheer ease with which we can produce a superficial image often leads to creative disaster.”
- Ansel Adams -






These words are more than true. They are exacting, defining and masterfully expressed. We live in a world that rushes us, that pushes and shoves us to demand instant gratification. Even when shooting film that has to be processed instead of "instant" digital imagery, there is a tendency to rush. 

So, I've got one roll to capture 36 shots. I have to search out the shot, analyze what I think will be the perfect moment, focus and work all settings manually, then push the shutter. Nothing to it, right?

Below is a favorite shot that took two weeks to accomplish with NO restrictions on the number of exposures. Sometimes getting it right just takes time.

Waterfall and Leaves
June 1994
from the book  
IN WILDERNESS SONG



"I think today I might have finally caught the leaves motionless over the stream. The constant wind and air turbulence has made this a frustrating shot to get for 2 weeks! The 4 & 8-second exposures needed to contrast movement with stillness are frustrating me, but it might have happened today. The overflowing beaver pond is running down into a nearby cove where I constantly see a pair of loons. They are obviously not nesting. I wonder if they enjoy the beautiful falls or love the sound of rushing water as much as I do?"
- Stephen Kirkpatrick-
June 1994 


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