What photography has taught me is probably not what you would think. I hate to read so I don’t read. I don’t even follow what new technology is out or what people are saying about it. I often feel lost when I’m talking to my fellow Louisiana Photographic Society members, I’ve learned a lot from them but totally lost 50% of the time. I definitely love hands on classes and have learned way more from just a 3 hour basics class than I’ve learned in years (my own fault). I guess the truth of the matter is I really don’t geek out over photography like I feel like I should. So what on earth have I learned if I’m not really learning about photography? Yesterday I had an experience that helped me to answer this question.
Yesterday I grabbed my camera to capture a photo of this bright purple dragonfly. I tried but just couldn’t get the photo of the dragonfly that made me smile. My pup kept putting the tennis ball in my face and scaring the dragonfly off. I couldn’t sit and focus on the camera for more 20 seconds before my Roux would be back in my face. I tried for a few minutes but lost my patience and gave up on the dragonfly. The following is the best I got during that time.
Even though I had lost my patience in the backyard with the dragonfly I was still very much in the mood to photograph. So, I decided to head out front and poke around the woods. I noticed this orange butterfly bouncing around in the gravel so I slowly headed his way and started snapping photos in hopes that I would get a shot before he took off. Dragonflies are hard enough to capture but butterflies… much more difficult. So I sat down and started shooting. Nothing spectacular just photos of a butterfly.
After watching him for about 15 minutes I realized that he wasn’t afraid. So that little voice inside me won and I quickly told myself to see if he would let me hold him. Sure enough, I put my finger out and touched his legs and next thing I knew he was hanging out on my hand. He would take off every once in a while and then just land right back.
He stuck around so long I was able to walk him into the yard and call my step daughters out to see him. We decided to see just how trusting this butterfly was. He was trusting enough to even let both of the girls hold him several times. The only thing I could think of is how much I live for those moments.
I thought about this moment a lot yesterday. Several things came to my mind. First of all I am very curious to know what it is that allows me to connect with nature’s most fragile creatures like I can. Then I thought about my patience. I taught preschool, I loved it, but keeping my patience was near impossible. At work, again, very low patience and easily frustrated. I do my best to either keep it to myself or find a way to make the situation less frustrating as quickly as possible but it’s still low patience. At home, same thing, quickly and easily frustrated. In fact, I spent triple the amount of time writing the first half of this blog because the dogs were causing trouble, fighting with each other, putting tennis balls in my lap, Roux even erased several words because he couldn’t stand that I wasn’t paying attention to him. All of this, very frustrating, low patience.
So to answer my initial question, I’m learning to be patient. I’m not sure that it’s translating into the rest of my life just yet but I’m hoping that it will. I’m at least learning that it is possible for me to be so patient that I get that photo. That photo that I can’t stop looking at, that makes me smile and feel at peace. So what was that photo you ask…