Slowing Down is the New Speeding Up

In Most Popular, Pep Talks, The Craft, Thoughts & Theory by David61 Comments

I want you to imagine you’re sitting down with me, looking at a photograph, and I’m explaining what I was thinking when I made it. If it helps, imagine it’s the photograph I showed you a couple of weeks ago in the video of the man making coffee in Istanbul. And now that enrollment for the course I recently launched is closed, imagine you’re no longer worried I’m going to try to sell you something. We’re relaxed and talking, and I tell you what I was trying to accomplish and why I chose a certain focal length, point of view, aperture, shutter speed, and so on. I might mention the importance of composition. If your eyes haven’t glazed over yet, I might talk about the moment I chose to support the story I was trying to tell.

Nice, right? Just the two of us. There’s probably a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. And if you’re interested, I’ll show you another one, perhaps from a recent safari in Kenya. Just give me a chance and I’ll talk your ear off. The light. The settings. The big lenses. The fight for a great point of view and a powerful moment. I’ll be doing this while feeling like the luckiest man in the world. And you? There’s a good chance you’ll be thinking there’s just no way.

There’s no way you can be thinking about all of these things, fussing over composition, making choices about storytelling, light, and all the other things. Not in 1/60 of a second. You might even call my bluff. “No way,” you say.

And that will be my cue to pour you another glass of wine and reply: yes way.

At the beginning of learning this craft (which for me took a very long 15 years, at least), it seems like there’s just too much going on, too many considerations. And you’re meant to get the exposure right—never mind being creative with it—and composition and focus and, dammit, did I just shoot that at 1/2 second? 

I get it. I do. A couple of weeks ago, I received a few emails from readers saying basically the same thing: “I shoot street photography, so there is no way I can think about all this stuff. I’ll lose the moment.” The same emails come from inexperienced wildlife photographers. And wedding photographers.

Some days it feels like everyone, except the landscape photographer who’s chained to his tripod, has the same excuse for not being mindful about their choices and for their photographs lacking the magic they might otherwise have.

So to them, I say: you’re right. At the beginning, and often years into this, you can’t think about it all in that moment. And yet that moment is so crucial, and capturing it well is what makes the photograph so powerful. Yes, it feels impossible. But don’t give up. It can still be done. And you don’t have to be born with a rare (mythical) ability to “shoot intuitively.”

But when you say, “no way,” you’re also wrong. There is a way. There are probably several ways, all of them some version of this: you don’t need to speed up; you need to slow down.

Master Your Tools, Master Your Context

No one loves to hear this, but when you begin, it takes you a while to master the basics. It just does. But the more you master them without getting distracted by other things, the easier it is to make faster decisions because you’ve done it a million times and the camera feels like an extension of your hands. It helps greatly if you’re not changing your gear every year. The reason seasoned photographers can think about the finer points of composition while photographing a quickly-moving scene on the street, at a wedding, or on the sports field is because they’ve done some version of this many times before and they’ve mucked it up almost as many times; their time spent in mastering not only their tools but their contexts are only now paying dividends.

If you’re having a tough time thinking about composition or the choice of moment, story, depth, energy, or any of the other things that make a great photograph at a wedding or out on the savannah, it might be because you’ve not yet shot enough weddings or spent enough time on the savannah.

That doesn’t make composition less important, and it doesn’t make it impossible. It just means you’ve not paid your dues—yet. But you will.

It’ll come, but don’t you dare settle for mediocre just because it’s hard for now.

Keep going. Pay attention. Which moments keep happening over and over? What are the signs that these moments are about to happen? What possibilities do you see? This is a strong argument for focusing your work a little. The photographer who mostly documents families for five years is going to anticipate, see, and capture moments others won’t—not because she has a faster eye or shutter finger, but because she’s more familiar with her context.

Stay Longer, Make More Photographs

It’s easy to look at a great photograph, one that really moves you, and to think it’s a lucky shot. Especially when the moment is so important. How fast did that photographer have to be to get that shot? Holy moly. But that’s not usually how it works.

Many, if not most, of the best street photographers (as only one example) find an interesting place and wait, making frame after frame as interesting moments happen. Wildlife photographers do this, too. They shoot and shoot and shoot. And then they agonize over choices of moments in the edit. And you think it’s magic because you see that one polished, carefully chosen shot that represents only 1/250 of a second from a scene that was explored for 10, 20, or 30 minutes or more. And while the photographer was waiting, they were anticipating different moments, tweaking their compositions, changing their minds about what they were going to do with the light, and sometimes, finally seeing the scene in a whole new way before finally getting that “magic” moment. It might be a decisive moment, but it only happened after many indecisive ones.

Don’t let the final image fool you; it probably wasn’t made by an intuitive photographer with lightning-fast reflexes, but by a patient photographer willing to put in the time.

Spend More Time Editing

I mentioned it in passing, but let’s talk about editing for a moment. Editing (link to Make the Edit easier) is not the tweaking we do in Lightroom, CaptureOne, or whichever software you prefer. Editing is choosing one image from many, and it’s as important creatively as the choices you make in-camera and the choices you make in so-called post-production. If, for every strong image I choose from a shoot, there are 100 images that don’t make the cut, it becomes easier to accept that I’ve actually got plenty of time for all these impossible decisions.

It is a mistake to believe that when a more experienced photographer talks about thinking 30 different things to get a photograph, and you know you can’t yet do this, that it means you won’t one day be able to.

The easy thing to do is say it’s not realistic, that moments happen too fast, that composition can’t possibly apply to street photography, or some other context in which things happen fast, which, last time I looked, is really most of life (except, again, for that landscape photographer sitting with his tripod in the rain—then time becomes impossibly slow)

It’s easy to say you’re just not an “instinctive shooter,” but instinct is trained.

You’ll get there, though not if you deny the need for the very things for which you need to develop your skills.

It’s easy to say the moments happen too fast, but that’s not usually the case if you slow down and spend more time. Sure, if you walk through the woods and a bear runs past you, there’s not much chance you’ll catch it with the camera. But if you were already there and waiting when the bear went past, you’d have heard it coming. You’d have been ready. You’d have considered your framing long before it got there, even if it was running. Perhaps it’s time to be less reactive and to slow down and spend the time.

Sometimes the hardest work in photography is waiting for the bear, metaphorically speaking.

It’s easy to say it’s a lucky shot (aren’t they all?), but when you slow down, spend more time, and shoot more frames and then allow the edit to become an important part of the creative process, you start to see how much room there is to choose one moment over another with time to spare and not to rush it, all because you were generous with your willingness to fill the memory card or risk making a bunch of sketch images at the time

There is no excuse for not composing intentionally, for disregarding the visual language, not being mindful, and taking your time.

“It’s hard” isn’t an excuse. It’s a reason to work even harder to get comfortable with your craft, your contexts, your editing. And it’s the reason we get such a thrill when it all comes together. Because we know it’s so much more than pressing a button, so much more than merely capturing

One of the wonderful things about this craft is that there is infinite room for growth, no matter how long you’ve been doing it—unless you let the excuses get in the way.

Slow down, my friend. Be patient with yourself and your growth as a photographer. Speed is not everything. But composition and choice of moment and the story you’re trying to tell? They are.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve got thoughts or questions about this. As I step away from social media this blog is increasingly the place to interact with me.

For the Love of The Photograph,


  1. I just discovered your website. Another photographer said she loved everything you’ve written and now I’m hooked. Your words resonate with me and I love your blog, youtube channel, books and (of course) your portfolio. Thanks so much! I’m a new fan.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Michelle! I’m so glad we found each other. 🙂 Let me know if I can help you. Have you signed up to get my Contact Sheet? Every 2 weeks I send out a new article about the craft we love so much, and when I can I include PDF monographs of my new work. I’d love to make sure you get it. If you want me to send it to you just go to and tell me where to send it! Welcome here.

      1. yup, I signed up to get your contact sheet article. I’m trying to decide if I should sign up for your courses…I have taken so many courses, but would love feedback on my photos. Right now I’m reading your books and I love them!

  2. This is one of the reason why I am very much still into film photography now. (~5 years & still feels like i just got started) There is no real “new” gears to lust on.
    It forces me to slow down, focuses my mind on the moment (no chimping is definitely a plus)
    The unpredictability of the results is also a thing of beauty.

  3. David, I was directed to this post by Linda Perdue (thanks Linda). Enjoyed the article and have subscribed. I also wanted to echo some of your points. I have been shooting sailing regattas for over 10 years now and while I often have to keep shooting to avoid missing some of the fast moving action I also sometimes “see” a shot developing. Based on the past decade of experience and knowing some of what works, while I may not be waiting for the shot, I can get myself ready for the shot I see coming and capture it. I look forward to more posts.

    1. Hi Bruce! Welcome here. I’m so glad Linda introduced us. Over the years this blog has evolved into a community of wonderful people and I’m glad to add another! Thanks for chiming in. I’m guessing you see and anticipate your shots in a different way now, based on those years of experience than you could have 10 years ago. Amazing what a little familiarity gives us, isn’t it?

  4. Thank you David!

    This post encourages me in what I do. As photographers, we constantly chase trends, often forgetting the essence. We are looking for inspiration in photos, instead of looking for it in people, places, phenomena, experiences. Meanwhile, photography is not only about people and their emotions. It is also largely the contexts and situations in which I meet them. These are places, time, play of light and shadow, the decisive moment, the composition of the frame, gestures.

    Thank you again 🙂

  5. Hi David,
    Your words gave me a much needed kick in the pants. Guilty on all accounts. Good thing that today is a new day and a new opportunity to change.
    Do I have permission to post a link to your page on a facebook group? I have two groups in mind, one for my local photowalking group and the other for the camera club that I belong to.

  6. I really appreciate this post. Slowing down is always something I’ve struggled with in my 20 years if creating photographs. Everything you talk about here in learning over time is so true. Learning the gear. I fear the day I have to buy a new camera and relearn what I spent so much time on. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    Kyle Reynolds

    1. Author

      Thanks, Kyle! The fear of a new camera is a real one, especially as they often don’t last as long as they once did. If we were all still using film we might still be using the 30 year old Nikons. When I bought my last camera bodies one of my big questions was “how much has changed?” and perhaps more importantly, “are these changes going to get in the way?”

  7. Pingback: Slow Down to Speed Up on Island in the Net by Khürt Williams

  8. When I first got into photography I missed so many photos as I thought the way to take photographs was to find something to photograph and then set your camera to get the photograph. I later found I had much better success setting my camera first and then looking for a moment that suited those settings. That got the camera settings out of the way and allowed me to be attuned to what was going on around me. That was when I was still mainly using AV, now I use manual as much as possible.

    It’s also seeing what is right under your nose. One person will see a photo opportunity that another will miss. It’s not always about timing/speed, it’s about seeing.

    1. Author

      ” It’s not always about timing/speed, it’s about seeing.” Absolutely, Ross! The slower I go, the more I see.

  9. Hello David,

    My name is Stefan and I am from germany.
    Why am I writing you?
    I don‘t know exactly.
    Well maybe because I follow you for so long and just want to thank you for all have done for me and my journey. Hope you will stay save out there.
    Maybe I feel like missing a friend. Sorry for my bad English, in German I could speak more from the heart.
    Not that I am sad that you are leaving, but concerned? No, I am sad too. Hope everything is ok on your end. I am wondering, if leaving social media is a solution for me too.
    You answered so many questions and in return asked more I will ever be able to handle.
    But you pushed me in the right direction, several times and now I will lose guidance .

    I think I just want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

    Thank you and be save.

    1. Author

      Hi Stefan – Thanks so much for this. I’m here! I’m around and I’m not going anywhere. I’m just not on social. But thank you so much for your very kind words. Yes, everything is fine on this end. It’s a confusing time with this pandemic, but my departure from social media isn’t a reaction to these challenging times, just a desire to have more freedom. You won’t lose my guidance. I’m still here. 🙂 Do you get these blog posts sent to you by email so you don’t always have to check the blog? You can sign up for that by subscribing at the top of this page or by going to

  10. Hi David, I agree with all of this. But during the pandemic, I’ve strayed from this advice, looking for the quick win to deal with the anxiety of the day. There are days where I photograph for the sake of it, hoping that the action will produce a useful result, but there are too many empty photographs in my catalogue collecting rust.

    Time to stop and do reevaluate what I’m doing. Your words appeared at the right time.

  11. “Slow down” in our era is one of the most hardest thing, i think. But if we do it at least when taking/making pictures, it will help us in other things, even at work maybe. I’m not sure if i’m right or not, but let’s say, if i go for a walk with something in my mind to get but without (strict) expectations, it calms me down even if i get back without success. Sometimes i say to may friends, just be there, be patient and “let the pictures happen to you” (citation i’ve heard somewhere).

  12. Bonjour David, Tout d’abord, mille mercis pour cet article que je viens de découvrir dans ma boîte mail (et non seulement j’apprends en photographie, mais également en anglais: je fais d’une pierre deux coups!!!). Je l’ai lu avec beaucoup d’attention, et je vais le lire et le relire c’est sûr! Je photographie depuis plus de 50 ans, et bien sûr, au fil des ans, j’ai pris de mauvaises habitudes, même si, par ailleurs, j’ai quand même appris pas mal. Mais la pire habitude est justement de laisser mon instinct me guider, plutôt que de faire un travail réfléchi et structuré, en ayant toujours peur d’avoir manqué le moment crucial. Je pense que le plus important pour moi, est justement de ralentir! Après avoir écouté la vidéo2 de ImageWork, j’ai commencé à mettre en application certains des principes que tu nous enseignes et cela me fait grand bien car enfin, je prends conscience que j’apprends et je suis convaincue que les progrès seront là dans quelque temps. Actuellement je viens tout juste de changer d’équipement (je suis passée d’une Nikon D90 + Panasonic FZ200 à une FujiXT3) et je suis en train de l’apprivoiser (cela dit, je l’adore déjà). En fait, je suis super contente de ce changement qui correspond en même temps à un changement d’attitude et d’approche de la photographie. Ce post est exactement ce dont j’ai besoin en ce moment. Pour finir, je voudrais te dire, David, à quel point je suis impressionnée par le soin que tu mets, à nous accompagner dans cette démarche d’apprentissage. MERCIiiiii! J’aimerais que tu me dises si c’est un problème que j’écrive en français? Pour moi c’est plus naturel et j’exprime mieux ma pensée et mon ressenti dans ma langue maternelle. Mais je comprendrai si tu me dis que tu n’as pas le temps de traduire ce texte, auquel cas, j’écrirai dorénavant en anglais.

    1. Author

      Annette, merci beaucoup pour votre aimable note. Je lis assez bien le français mais j’écris assez mal le français donc j’utilise Google Traduction. Merci pour vos encouragements. J’espère que vous appréciez le nouvel appareil photo Fuji – je n’ai jamais hésité à dire à quel point j’aime le mien. Veuillez continuer à laisser des commentaires dans la langue qui vous convient le mieux. Jusqu’à la prochaine fois!

    2. Spot-on as usual David…. heartfelt thanks for more of your wisdom and encouragement. Cynthia asked me once what my greatest challenge was photographically speaking and I think you’ve identified it in this blog. It’s so hard to be patient with ourselves for what we don’t yet know… slow down and take the time to allow for learning. Not just waiting patiently for the moment, but waiting patiently for ourselves to evolve into greater wisdom and skill.

  13. Thank you so much David for these inspiring thoughts as well as for the great monograph. I am working my way through Image work and enjoying every bit of it. It is really changing the way I am making photographs. Slowing down is indeed what we all need. Slow photography is the motto!

  14. That’s exactly what I needed to hear/read . We all need to slow down and little can be as effective as investing time and patience, rather than tools and gear. Thanks for what you do, David, see you virtually on ImageWork! 😉 Cheers!

    1. Author

      Thanks for that encouragement, Lucasz! Much appreciated. See you there! 🙂

  15. Thank you David du Chemin for another inspiring letter to those of us who are out in the fringes of the Canadian photographic art world. I have written to you before, but nothing touched my soul quite so much as this piece on the importance of slowing down. At this point, between my age, my health, and the current pandemic, I am spending most of my life slowing down or slowed down. I have been making images for about seventy years. Most of the images that I made in my early years have either been lost or were never worth preserving. I was in a hurry then. Over the years, I have learned the art of slowing down. I am now long retired and spend as much time as I can making images – my art. I teach at my local Camera Club and I, with your permission, would like to share this current letter with the members. I believe it would be an encouragement who have already learned the message, and an even greater encouragement to those who need to slow down.

    1. Author

      HI Richard – Thank you for this. Yes! Please do use my article as you see fit. Just spell my name mostly correctly and point people to my website in case they want more where that came from. 🙂 Thank you!

  16. Thank you for another thoughtful and encouraging article. The prospect of a pathway or journey of unknown length to reach the goal of perfection can be daunting, and discouraging at times. Your encouragement to embrace the effort and immersion …and to slow down enough to internalize the learnings…is timely and thought provoking. A new mindset to balance moments of frustration !

    1. Author

      Moments of frustration indeed! They happen. But I find they happen less and the intensity of that frustration is less when I take my time. And I enjoy it more. We may or may not get a decent image from our time in a certain place, that’s never a guarantee, but one thing we can control is whether we’re present, really there and experience that moment. Slowing down does that. It opens minds and eyes to possibilities. And sometimes, to better images. 🙂

  17. Great writing, oh so true. while you are waiting and watching you are quietly going through all the scenarios, there is plenty of time.

  18. Thanks for repeating this over and over again. It helps me so much and takes the pressure away. I just enjoy my journey and get tool after tool in my muscle memory. My way of working is to select around every 4 weeks one theme, shoot a couple of hundred of frames and create an Instagram series with 12 images which I post over 12 days. Slow process, but for me very enjoyable and I have the feeling that I improve my skills continuously. Greetings from the Palatinate, Michael Ps: ImageWork and “The Heart of the Photograph” are a real booster for me. They helped me to be a lot more focussed and broadened my vision tremendously.

    1. Author

      “Slow process, but for me very enjoyable and I have the feeling that I improve my skills continuously. ” This is what matters. That you learn, and that you continue to find joy in it. Thanks for this, Michael. I have very few readers who have so consistently been there with a kind word for so long. It makes it a joy to keep doing what I do. Thank you!

    1. Author

      Yes! That’s exactly it. But the more you do it the easier it gets and suddenly you’re riding with no hands and juggling at the same time! 🙂

  19. I agree with your comment on editing. I remember a few years back when you could post to flickr as much as you wanted, a young photographer made a trip through Europe and took 12,000 images. She posted them all to flickr. No editing, no nothing. And, as expected, 99% of it was not what one would term a photograph worth taking although I am sure each image brought back some memory that only she could understand. I still noticed this on flickr. As a former newspaper photog, I spent a great deal of time selecting the right “decisive moment” image for publication. I literally have thousands if not tens of thousands of images that will never be published. Even today, in retirement, I edit ruthlessly and hope that the ONE IMAGE I post will also inspire someone else.

    1. Author

      It’s about impact, isn’t it? The more images we allow ourselves to post the less choosy we become about everything within those images. But force yourself to use only one or a small carefully-chosen handful, and suddenly we need to be sure every image carries the most impact possible. Great comment, Richard, thank you.

  20. Hi David. Remember the infra red shot I sent of the rooster and the gnome? It was one of about 30 until by adjusting my brain often, mostly by using my feet, and, yes, slowing down, it happened. I’ve always been an auto racing nut and am reminded of what an accomplished driver once told me. He said that when you are wheel to wheel pushing 200 mph it becomes slow motion, all relative. Your thought works in that new dimension, considering multiple things in a split second. Saved my butt once as I sped up the mountain on a dirt road forgetting that right ahead was a hard left uphill hairpin with nothing beyond but trees. In that instant, at least a dozen scenarios flashed and I selected the Stirling Moss solution, brake hard and steer with it and throttle hard to overcome the slide at the perfect instant. It worked. I was on two wheels but the trees went by on my right and I slammed back down with the road straight ahead. So, what’s my point? While you’re “slowing down” let your brain fly full speed ahead considering the options for that perfect shot. Breath. Relax. See everything.

    1. Author

      What a story, John! 🙂 Forget photography, I’m going to start rally driving! 🙂

  21. Thanks David… I have been fortunate enough to learn so many lessons from your bogs/books over the years… More great advice… no more excuses…

    1. Author

      Thanks, Dave. Always such a pleasure to see your face and hear from you. I hope you and Mo are well! 🙂

  22. Thank you so much for this very thoughtful article. The point of slowing down is one reason I have always enjoyed solo travel.
    If I want to wait in one spot for an hour waiting for all the elements to come into place, I am able to do so without concern for a fellow traveler. Your point of familiarity with equipment so I can make those rapid decisions, really spoke to me. Time for me to go practice. Grateful for all the work you do.

    1. Author

      Ann, I think you’re absolutely right. I get so many emails from people who travel with groups or their families and want to know how they can still get the most from their photography and I’m often tempted to tell them just to put the camera away and enjoy the experience of being with those people. The camera makes demands of its own and one of them is time alone. Worrying about other people who are waiting for me is the fastest way to kill my joy and stop me from being present and creative.

  23. I’ve been making photographs for over 50 years. I like to shoot a lot of candid street portraits. Obviously there are always all kinds of things that can unexpectedly interrupt or prevent an image from being captured. When I was younger I would become upset or disappointed when I lost an opportunity. Now that I’m in my seventies it is easy to smile and shrug off these perceived losses. To me, however, I know that they are not lost images because I composed them and imagined the finished portraits. They will always be with me and inform my future approaches. Secondly, it easy to accept that one image more or less at this period of my history isn’t going to make much of a difference. I would say that age, acquired comfort with equipment and settings, and a commitment to having a rewarding experience out in the world creating has and continues to make the art of photography a joy.

    1. Author

      As I get older, Thomas, and as I feel more and more like “one image more or less at this period of my history isn’t going to make much of a difference” it frees me up to enjoy the process more and more. You said it beautifully, “having a rewarding experience out in the world creating has and continues to make the art of photography a joy.” The image itself might not be irrelevant but it’s unnecessary to the joy and meaning of making it. Thanks for that.

  24. Great article, David. Slowing down is so necessary for daily life, too! You validated my beliefs in this area and encouraged me to think of more photography possibilities. I also realized that some of my best street photography has come from being in one spot as opposed to roaming around. However, I have had to find the “right spot.” I live in New Orleans, so you can imagine that sometimes there are lots of spots. At any rate, I own some of your books, and they are my favorites. Thank you for helping me! All the best to you! Kathleen

    1. Author

      Thank YOU, Kathleen! It’s an honour to teach and write for such open and wonderful people. 🙂

  25. This is an important reminder for me because I’m such an impatient person. Those times that I’ve gotten absorbed in shooting and slowed down as a result, what I’ve captured is often much deeper and more satisfying.

    On another note, the email you sent with this blog post mentioned a Great Bear Monograph in PDF format, but when I click on the link, both Safari and Chrome say they can’t open it. Do you know what else I could try? I live in the north Georgia mountains where we’re surrounded by black bears and I love studying them, photographing them, and seeing photographs of them.

  26. I’ve learned more and more about slowing down in photography and taking the time to wait even. I confess to being one of those “chained”, as you put it, to my tripod as I don’t have the steadiest of hands. You made an interesting comment for me. You talked about hearing the bear coming; for me it’s all about visual as I don’t hear most things that others would. So perhaps it might be safe to say I need to slow down and be even more visually alert for images.

    Good topic David.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Steve. I was thinking about you the other day, not only because I owe you an email but because I read an article about the Dinner Table Syndrome and how it’s amplified on things like Zoom calls. I’m mostly deaf in my right ear and experience a small sliver of this kind of exclusion at restaurants and parties but am only now realizing the challenges of the more completely hearing-impaired. But in a “glass half full” kind of way it’s also made me wonder what heightened visual acuity or attentiveness might be more obviously necessary for those who don’t hear. Is it possible you pay more attention than others simply because you can’t rely on sound? A disadvantage to the musician, obviously, but to the photographer? Makes me wonder. Email to come. I’m drowning in emails right now.

  27. Hello, amateur, for many years I have been taking rather static frames, but it’s true that training makes perfect and after 50,000 photos you can predict what will happen next. The beautiful thing is that in every field of photography you have to re-learn it, so you don’t get bored.

    1. Author

      “The beautiful thing is that in every field of photography you have to re-learn it, so you don’t get bored.” Isn’t that the truth! I think photography gives us a lifetime of challenge!

  28. This post came along at just the right time for me. I’ve been working on slowing down more than just photography and attending more to the moment. It’s hard to break a lifetime habit of living on a schedule.

    I decided to learn more about my camera and stood out in my driveway for 45 minutes or so, fiddling with settings and shooting the same scene over the valley, trying to capture what I really saw. I could go back and count the number of shots, but that’s not important – it’s a lot. I got one I thought was kinda right, but that isn’t what really mattered. I learned things, and now I’ll be trying to use them and not forget them.

    By the way, I’m really enjoying ImageWork. I’m starting to think about camera settings in a new way, as a tool for creativity rather than just an exposure system. Thanks for that.

    1. Author

      Thanks, Charles. I’m thrilled to hear the course is helpful for you. And this post. Sometimes I hit publish and wonder if I’m just a lone crazy man shouting into the void! 🙂

  29. Is it time to slow down?

    This really hit a chord David, thank you ! I was out for the day yesterday with my camera and enjoying a slower pace, savouring the moment as it has been a while since out for a day with my camera. I was not constantly on the move to find the moment. There are fewer people and less energy on the streets in Chicago right now so I was more thoughtful of composition and location as I photographed. After reading this, I will definitely push this attitude further in upcoming photo walks!

    1. Author

      Glad I could help, Alison. I’m in the middle of a much larger slowing-down. Partly covid-enforced, to be honest, but what benefits! To perceive more, to experience more deeply. As often as I teach others to slow down it seems I need the constant reminder to do the same. I hope you’re well!

  30. There are mysterious forces out there. My daughter and I need a distracting but healing activity today. Our plan is to drive to “Bearizona Wildlife Park” , a pandemic safe drive through wildlife park. As I started my coffee, waiting in my in-box is perfectly timed insightful message from David along with inspirational bear images. David – thank you for all you do. I have bought several copies of both Muses and Start Ugly and have given them to friends. Some of the copies have been passed on to others,, some are being kept for rereading.

    1. Author

      Thank you so much for that, Fred – for both your kind comments and for the support in sharing my books with others. Means the world to me. I hope you have a great adventure at Bearizona! 🙂

  31. Wow – I think I need to read this a few more times. I totally get what you’re saying. I started doing dog photography, mostly rescue work, over 4 years ago. I used to be totally freaked out, nervous each time I got ready to do this. Now, after several years doing this sometimes several times a week – I slow down, I wait more, I click less – yet I always come home with at least 3 or 4 images of each dog for the rescue. It’s exactly what you have said – do it enough, slow down, wait for what you want. Now, I need to learn to apply this to other things I photograph!

    1. Author

      Happy it helped, Linda! For what it’s worth I have a feeling it’s going to take a lifetime for me to apply it to the rest of my life as well. 🙂

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