Featured, iPhone, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Tips

On Waiting…

June 25, 2018

My husband and I recently returned from a glorious trip to Norway. It is now one of my most favorite destinations, and if you were considering it, I highly recommend that you go. One of the things I wound up, most unexpectedly, falling in love with were the seagulls. They are very different from their thinner, fry chasing, cousins here in Florida in that they are big—very big—very healthy looking birds. They are also plentiful and seem to love being around people (very close) but not uncomfortably close. Hard to explain but they soar above and around a person with a subtle confidence that makes you feel at ease. I loved them! The photo above is of seagulls that followed our boat out to one of the Fjords. It was exciting because there were so many birds, flying so many patterns, and with so many amazing backdrops, and I knew, if I were patient, paid attention, and fired off enough shots that I would get something I liked. This photo above definitely qualifies as one of my favorites as these precocious birds wound up perfectly framing the landscape. I was lucky enough to get several well-timed images, and I credit them to waiting or actually, how I wait.

Waiting for things to line up the way I want used to be difficult for me until I discovered a secret. One day while I was waiting, I could feel my heart rate increasing as I felt myself getting anxious—and then it hit me…

I realized that, ultimately, what I wanted was to have the image—to have the bird, animal, subject or moment, captured. What I was most fearful about was not getting the image at all. I knew if I didn’t get it at the exact right moment—I might have waited too long and it (or the moment) would be gone. Aha! Figuring that out was key. So, what I’ve started to do is take a few (or more) shots before that all too critical moment so that I know I have it. I have something; even if it’s not perfect, I have it. Once I’ve taken a photo or two, the pressure is off, and I can relax and wait.

When using the iPhone (and it’s time to get a shot like this), it’s probably best to let the camera autofocus (you’ll know if that’s the case because you’ve already taken a few shots, remember?) Also, you’d better be taking advantage of Burst Mode—I use it all the time. Any iPhone above the 5 will take ten shots per second and will continue to fire as long as you press (and hold) the shutter button. Then, all you have to do is go through the images and pick your favorite.

I hope this makes your waiting a little easier and if you use the burst mode, you won’t miss a thing.

Have fun!


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  • Reply clinton ferrara June 25, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    You know my little grasshopper friend I could say I know that. I’m a bird photographer. But. You are doing these bird photos with an iPhone. That is one steep learning curve and the chance of success is slim compared to my thousands of $$$ worth of equipment and my hundreds of hours of training on KelbyOne.
    You are an inspiring person. I love your love of your world.
    The teacher is wise to use you in her photo class.

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 26, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Thank you, Clinton. Your confidence in me and your encouragement mean the world to me. ☺️

  • Reply Nina Cleven June 29, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Wow, that’s one beautiful image. Can’t believe you get such great photos from an iPhone – all I know is you’re doing something most of would have a very hard time replicating. Lovely!

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 30, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      Thank you, Nina, you’re very kind.

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