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Weekend Assignment: Anticipate the Moment

This assignment ran from Jun 7 to Jun 10, 2019.

In previous Weekend Assignments, I have asked you to follow the light and observe your composition. For this weekend assignment, I am asking you to anticipate the moment that happening in front of your camera.

See National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale’s “Chasing Moments” assignment for inspiration. I agree with her: “Every good shot captures a unique moment in time to tell a story. Sometimes you have to chase those moments, and sometimes you have to wait a while… The one thing that matters is timing. That fraction of a second is the difference between a great storytelling moment and an average image. Timing requires patience. You learn to watch and wait and shoot and develop a sense of timing. ‘Chasing moments’ is really about the art of observation. In photography, ‘chasing’ means paying attention—mentally slowing down and being able to anticipate when that decisive moment will appear.”

I couldn’t have written it better. To build off Ami’s thoughts, this weekend I encourage you to slow down and be patient. Allow for the moment in front of you to unfold. Be ready with your camera. Make your own luck through observation.

And then when the moment is happening in front of your camera, work the situation. Keep taking pictures. Move around. Do not look at the back of your camera and review your photos. While you are doing this, you are missing the moments in front of your camera. Wait until the moment has finished.

For the final story, I will only be selecting photos that were taken during the timeframe of this assignment: June 7, 2019 at 12 p.m. EDT to June 10, 2019 at 12 p.m. EDT.

Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot

Curated by:

David Lee
Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Assignment Status
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Published Jun 24, 2019.
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David Lee

David Lee

Producer, Nat Geo Your Shot
Before joining the Your Shot team, David covered the White House for Time and Newsweek, and served as an official photographer for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He also started The Waiting List, a non-profit storytelling project humanizing the statistics of organ donation.