Chasing rather than being still.


In the dining room of our hotel was a picture of this scene along with one other in B&W.   I was drawn to both images and inspired to search them out.   As we crested the top of the hill where this scene was, Peter, our guide, said to follow him.  I had in my mind the two images and was not “seeing” this one at all.  Rather than trust Peter, listen to him, AND slow down to allow myself to see, I chased after the image I had in my mind which was the other “sea stack” type image I saw in the dining room. As such, I did not get this shot.  Instead I kept moving closer and closer to the big rock formation you see in the upper left of this image (see image below) thinking I would find what I remembered.  The only problem was, what I was remembering was NOT here!!!  It was at a different location.   So, what is the moral of this story?  If I had listened and trusted Peter I would have gotten the shot?  Well, yes that is indeed true because the next day we went back just for ME to get the shot you see above.  But that still isn’t the point of the story.  The point is this, I fell prey to the very thing I teach others not to.  I was focused on CHASING after an image rather that allowing one to come to me.  I was so focused on finding what I thought I remembered I almost missed out.  It is far better to slow down and allow images to come to you.  Sure, its normal to have some idea of what you might want to photograph, but please be open to whatever is given to you.  Allow other images to present themselves by being patient and being still.


This entry was posted in B&W, Iceland and tagged .


  1. Karl July 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

    Great lesson! I can’t recall the number of times that I have worked hard to get the shot that was in my mind. All I needed to do is take a “breather”, look around … and there it was right in front of me.

  2. john8276 July 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Amen Karl, and oft times the other one is MUCH better than the one we were working so hard on…

  3. Mary Butler July 29, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    My fave is the second image…would like to see it in color (or at least a bit of color)
    also sans vignette…beautiful.

  4. John Heise July 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    So glad we went back, the light wasn’t working for me that first time .And I do like that B/W.

  5. Daniel Ruf July 29, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Great advice, but you’re not the only one that has succumb to the “voice” of impatience. Glad you got the return shot and thanks for sharing.

  6. Bruce Sorrell July 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Nemaste, John !

    Your good advice, summarized by your closing sentence, is an approach you’ve advocated before and it’s definitely advice worth taking. I know I certainly need to put this into practice. Your recommendation reminds me of this thinking:

    “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,
    concentrate the mind on the present moment.”



  7. Dick July 30, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    excellent advice, and reminder. Zen Master Dewitt demonstrated this with a cherry tree to my delight and chagrin.

    • john8276 July 30, 2013 at 1:44 am #

      Yes, Dewitt is exceptionally good at being still. Ask Lynette, and she will say for LOOOONG times.

  8. marty golin July 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Hardly Zen master stuff, but…. The stiller we are, the better we reflect.

    • john8276 July 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      The Zen Master has weighed in… 🙂 Thanks Marty.

  9. Frank Smith July 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Great point & great image!

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  1. By More on chasing images versus letting them come to you. on September 11, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    […] when I started to share my Iceland images, I shared a story about my chasing an image which led to my missing it altogether.  Remember, I had to go back the next […]

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