Compose and wait – Sam Abell, National Geographic photographer

In street photography, it is often a matter of half a second or less between a good and a great picture. You snap too early and the moment is not yet here; you snap too late and it is gone forever. One thing that I have noticed during this year is my tendency to shoot too early, as if I wanted to be sure to get something. I would feel that something was about to happen, put the camera in front of my eye, compose as fast as possible and take the picture, often just before the “decisive moment”. Then it is too late and before I could push the button again the moment was happening and I could only blame my impatience. I worked a lot on this problem during the last months, and I learned to wait. I learned to compose, and wait. Not long of course, things are moving fast in the streets, but enough to be on time for the moment, not too early, not too late.

In this video, Sam Abell, famous documentary photographer for National Geographic (among other things), tells nothing else but this: compose and wait. Even if the wait lasts one year and a half as in the case of one of his most iconic picture.

This documentary was produced by Alex Hoyt and filmed and edited by Ross McDermott. 


  1. Great video Simon!! Life lessons learnt. Check. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing..

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