Patience Is Hard

Asters at Colonial Williamsburg

It took me a long time and a lot of experimentation to learn how to take pictures of red flowers that didn’t look weird.

Last Friday’s Six Word Friday used the word “patience”, something I struggle with:

Patience is hard, but I’m trying.

I am not by nature a very patient person.  Our media makes everything look so easy – in 30 minutes, you can learn to cook a gourmet meal!  In 60 minutes a crime can be solved!  Casual sex has no consequences!

But in real life, few things are easy.  Cooking takes a long time and a lot of failures before a person – man or woman, single or married – can reliably turn out a good basic meal, with all the components finishing at the same time.  Crime can be solved quickly, but usually only if the perpetrator was caught in the act.  Otherwise, it takes time and effort to track the events, talk to witnesses, and follow the trail.  And as for casual sex. . . well, it seldom leads to a long-term, serious relationship.  Sex is wonderful, but it’s not an amusement toy.  Relationships take time and effort, and a one-night stand doesn’t do that.

It took me a long time to understand that patience was necessary if I wanted to learn a new skill.  Pretty much any skill takes time to master, from learning to use a computer all those years ago to learning how to use my camera.  Having a good, solid relationship with my husband and daughter happened over the years.  It didn’t and doesn’t happen instantly.  Training a puppy, growing a garden, even growing a blog all take patience.  Sometimes you can shortcut the process, but not usually.

So the next time you’re discouraged about learning something, being proficient, or just being productive personally or professionally, take a deep breath and remind yourself to be patient.  It all takes time and effort to be a person of accomplishment.

That red bee balm in the picture at the top?  It’s hard taking picture with a lot of red or yellow in it and have them look good.  The problem is called “sensor bloom”, where the colors overwhelm the camera sensor, becoming muddy and running together.  With patience, experimentation, and a lot of coaching (from my favorite boy toy and other photographers), I finally figured it out.  They don’t work everytime, but I have a much greater chance of success now than I ever did in the past.