Do you wait for photographs? Set up your tripod on a scene and then wait for something to happen? Lots of people think this is how #AnselAdams worked, but he didn’t. From everything I’ve heard he was’t patient enough, and neither am I. I find that my most favorite photographs are a response to light, to fleeting moments that unpredictably come into being, exist for a very short time, and then disappear. So while I rarely “wait” for a photograph, I’m always waiting on the light, which is an active process of looking, exploring, slowing down, sensing, tuning in to my environment. I waited on the light for a week to make this photograph. After some challenging life stuff, I took off for a week to camp on the #bigsur coast to clear my head and refresh myself. I spent a week exploring the nooks and crannies of the coast, watching tides rise and fall, but my 4x5 view camera stayed in my bag because a persistent marine layer created dead gray light that just didn’t inspire me. As you can imagine, that left me pretty frustrated because I thought I’d make a lot of new work that week, and on the last day of the trip I faced the prospect of returning home without even exposing any film. But on that final day while exploring an area just south of Carmel, the light started to break. In a mad dash, I broke out my view camera and quickly set up on the scene before me. I was only able to make a few exposures before the light left, but one of those captured what i saw as a rare pastel light illuminated the waves and tide pools. That one picture, on the last day, because I didn’t pack up early, made the whole trip.
Wisner 4x5, Nikon 135mm f5.6 W Lens, Fuji Velvia, exposure unrecorded, likely ƒ32-45
Rich Seiling is a pioneer in Fine Art Printmaking, having worked on thousands of prints for leading photographers.