About six weeks ago, I was walking along the waterfront of Hora on the Greek island of Naxos. It was around seven o’clock and the sun was making its descent. I looked to the edge of the town and on top of a rocky hill was a large rectangular statue. Glancing at my watch and knowing that the sun would soon go down (and that this was my last night on this island), I quickened my pace in order to get over to this sculpture.
It was the Temple of Apollo, one of the patron gods of Naxos. In terms of Grecian higher powers, he was a well-liked individual. According to my book of Greek mythology, he was the god of light, music and the arts and was noted to be quite popular with the ladies.
As such, this monument in honour of the sun god left me with a pretty good frame for a sunset and hence the photo above. Now I should mention that I found a few others with the same thought pattern once I got to the top of the hill, but it still reinforces the idea that timing is everything in photography.
From my experience, I’ve learned that you have to take advantage of a situation when it presents itself. There have been too many times that I’ve seen something and wished I had my camera or had my camera tucked away in its bag while the moment passed by.
In his blog, Assignment Chicago, Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia writes:
In this business, you hesitate and you’re lost. Maybe because of their aggression, their fearlessness and their conviction, winning photojournalists understand this. Actually, understand is a terrible word. That involves cognition. They act on instinct and emotion. An opportunity comes? It’s seized. A door opens? They run through it. A soldier turns his back? Gone. Their photos have an edge because they know how to anticipate where the action will be better than the next person. And they unapologetically pursue it, even if by doing so they might offend someone’s sensibility or get themselves shot.
Some of the world’s best photos have come when the photographer was at the right place at the right time, but what has made these folks great is their ability to premeditate and take advantage of a great photo when the potential exists.