September 27, 2007
By Zachary Calo, Lake Oswego, OR

Photography is art. A photo is a moment in time that has been frozen, captured by the photographer like a prize. Sounds easy enough, but no matter how skilled you are it will never be easy. The shot will not come to you; you need to wait patiently for it. This could take a long time, but that’s the way it goes. A true photographer will never quit, no matter how hard the challenge is.

Only last summer I was standing on a ledge, the Oregon coast spread out in front of me. I had brought my camera, as I always do, so immediately I began to snap pictures like crazy. The always-changing landscape of the ocean was beautiful, but the question was whether or not it would be beautiful on my camera. I needed to express the oceans personality by showing its glorious waves. This can be frustrating beyond belief. I tried many different shots of the ledge I stood on, but after a while I went right down to the beach. I walked down the wooden stairs, trying to look for anything that would make that amazing picture.

The sun was high in the sky and made the water sparkle like gold, giving a magical affect, perfect for a picture. But all I needed to do was find a place where I could get the sun and the water together and create a good picture. The explosions of the water against the rock inspired me, so I decided to start there.

As I patrolled the beach, I kept my eyes open for a place where I could take pictures. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught something that interested me. I walked over to a place where waves would hit the rocks and fly up into the air. This created a sense of awe, something that really wanted to capture on the camera. In twenty minuets I had several decent shots of the water and sun, just like had been trying to. But the picture was missing something. The light sparkled on the water droplets beautifully, but that was it, so I decided to switch locations.
I did not have to walk far when I found a great place to capture the waves. To either side of the water there were two massive rocks, giving a line of sight straight to the ocean. Water would again hit the rocks and fly up, but now there was the whole ocean behind it. I stood by that spot for half an hour, taking at least 100 pictures. I chose two. Just two. But I was extremely happy with them that I did not care that I didn’t get a lot of good shots. I agree with quality over quantity. I was extremely lucky, for two birds had been flying over the scene just as I took the picture. That’s the thing in photography. You need patience. If I had left that spot after a few pictures, I never would have gotten that shot. An hour of taking pictures is worth a picture that you will look at for the rest of your life.
Photographers need to think outside the box and be creative. In order to this, they should let their imagine wonder and look at the world from a different point of view. For example: What would a spider see when it is dangling from a web, or what a caterpillar see crawling up a tree? The possibilities are endless. All you need to do is find them.

One thing that I try to do when I take pictures is imagine what a good image would look like, and then try to take a picture like the image. This is one of my many ways to take good pictures. It all depends on how you like to take pictures. You control what kind of pictures you take and how good your pictures are. So do it your own way. I guarantee you will have fun and get better pictures.
No matter how skilled you are in photography, you know it can be frustrating. But photography teaches you a lesson: Everything is not achieved on the first try. With a little luck and patience, you will eventually succeed.

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