Persistence

defn: continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period (Oxford Dictionary)

Back in the day I used a Pentax K1000 manual camera to photograph. I bought the unit just prior to a trip to Colorado to see The Grateful Dead at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Upon arrival, my friend took one look at my new toy then told me I would need a telephoto lens if I wanted to get decent pictures of the band.

I bought the lens that afternoon. Did I mention I barely knew how to work the camera, never mind multiple detachable lenses? I wasn’t very good at loading the 35-millimeter film into the back. The first night of a three-night stand, that included my 24th birthday, I went through five rolls of film that resulted in a dozen or so photos worth keeping.

Persistence. I learned how to use the camera, crop a photo in the viewfinder, and set the aperture to let through the right amount of light. Time and patience are both great teachers.

Recently I revived my photography hobby. I bought a pocketbook size camera that has awesome zoom then headed to “the rail” at a music festival. The part I forgot about is how much concentration it takes to get that one sparkly shot. Add to that the fact I love to dance and get distracted easily well you get the picture (haha).

 Yet I had a plan. I would take photos during the first few songs, then I will enjoy the music my muse provides. Pretty simple, huh?

Yeah, no.

Persistence. Did I mention that I refused to check the shot after I clicked? Delayed gratification or cruelty take your pick. As in the old days, I knew when I got the right light, angle, facial expression, when it all came together, or didn’t. The lead singer, bass player, guitarist, and keyboard player were all easy. I snapped a few of each with the awareness I had captured the moment.

Yet the drummer… and those symbols… and the body of the bass… With each click I knew I missed. My focus and energy went from a few shots of each band member to why do I keep missing the drummer. About halfway through their set, twenty plus clicks in, I knew I got it. My body relaxed. I heard the lyrics, felt the music, and much later, got the rush of a moment captured.

Persistence pays off again.

What are you persistent about?

Thanks to Sidney Smith for his equipment recommendations. Visit his page here to see amazing concert photos. And thanks to the guys at Milford Photo for sharing their expertise. And thanks to Haley Jane & The Primates for sharing joy through their gift of music. I am going to miss you guys.

Peace & love.

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