Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Art of Waiting


"The best camera is the one that's with you…" - Chase Jarvis

I was at the lobby of my client's office. We had an appointment but the receptionist told me that he was still in another meeting and ask me to wait. So I sat on the couch and saw this interesting scene. A typical modern office with transparent glass wall and glossy ceramic floor. You can see the reflection of your face on the floor.

As Chase Jarvis said, I turn on the camera on my Lenovo P700i and start looking around to find the best angle. Shortly after, I got my scene framed and the game begins ... the art of waiting.

This is the approach used by many street photographers, including HCB. Set the frame first as the stage, and wait for actors to enter the scene. The focus point and exposure is already set and we waited in anxiety to anticipate any possibilities when someone coming into the scene. This process is highly adventurous and exerts a high tension to us to be able to capture that holy decisive moment. We never know what would happen, we have to react fast.

To make it more challenging, here is the problem ... smartphone is not as smart as DSLR in taking picture. Expect some delay between the instant when we pull the trigger until the camera start capturing the scene. We have to know the limitation of our gear and adapt accordingly in relation to the anticipated moment happening on the scene. This is a complex process involving visual, tactile and subconscious adjustment factor to accommodate the shutter delay.

I took 13 shots (only 12 shown) with varying result.


These cliche shot proved to be not that easy to get it right using a phone camera. A capture of people walk from side angle. We have to trigger the camera at the right moment (with adjustment to shutter delay) to get a wide leg spread that gives a strong "in the move" mood. I got three shots which I think is timed correctly, but two of them are out of focus. The AF function is smart enough to blur the main subject. That's another point to consider.

By doing this kind of exercise, we will learn how to anticipate a moment. We will develop the ability to recognize the feel, the atmosphere that "hints" the beginning of something, and take action in rhyme as the scene progressed. It is difficult to explain, you have to experience by yourself.

Ideally this exercise should be done using a proper camera. The smartphone factor is added to increase the difficulty level. I bet we will appreciate our DSLR more, even if it's already aged 5+ years old. .

Lenovo P700i - ISO? f-stop? shutter speed? whatever ...