Feb 152016

The buttons you won’t find on any camera

N° 1  Patience

There are a few buttons that you will not find on any camera.  If they were there, the photography world would be a much different place.  There is no company that can invent them.  There is no technology that can capture them.  And there is no formula for using them.  They are qualities that few photographers possess and everyone else struggles to obtain.

When an amateur does not like their pictures,

they look at their equipment.  

When an artist does not like their pictures,

they look in the mirror.


The buttons you won't find on any camera: Patience © Adam Marelli

Hiding in plain sight

Grab a camera, any one you can find.  It can be old, it can be new.  But no matter how many buttons a camera might have, there is no button for Patience.  

Patience is an elusive quality.  It cannot be bought.  It does not accept bribes and it cannot be faked.  Patience takes time to develop.  And it loves to torture its students with hours of boredom.  It comes alive when there appears to be nothing happening.  But that is just Patience testing our commitment.  Most will never pass the test of Patience.  Those who never pass can only stare from the other side.  They will toil endlessly with expensive gear and fantastical approaches to the simplest of subjects because Patience does not negotiate.

It sits and waits for us.  When we finally arrive, it wants to sit some more.  It likes to sit in silence, until we hear that silence has a sound.  After enough time, Patience peels back the world we thought we saw and shows us another one. This world is nothing new.  It was there the entire time.  Patience saw it, but we did not.

Patience reveals parts of ourselves we did not know existed.  Along the way, it touches every moment we experience.  Patience bends time, speeding it up and slowing it down, but always delivers a moment that would have never been noticed without it.

In return it asks for nothing.  If we get in a fight, it is never offended.  If we forget how to use it, Patience will always accept us again once we remember.  And as we get older it reminds us that all the trappings of Youth eventually lose our Patience.

So the next time that you look at something that moves you, stay a little longer.  Spend an extra minute, or better yet an extra hour… looking at just one thing.  If someone asks what you are doing, tell them,”I’m waiting for my friend Patience, they should be here soon.”


  6 Responses to “The buttons you won’t find on any camera: Patience”

  1. This article came in the right time for me.
    I can’t thank you enough Adam for your quality content in the sea of noise especially with the new flagship cameras that people are chattering about.

    • Dear Hameed,

      Excellent quote “a sea of noise…” I could not have worded it better myself. Chances are the only thing between us and our next great picture is waiting for us in the mirror, not on the shelf at B&H.


  2. Adam, you are quite the philosopher. And, of course, photographer. I glad to have discovered you website.

    • Hi Michael,
      Welcome to the site…always nice to hear from a new voice. There will be a few more button articles on their way.
      Hope you enjoy them.

  3. So true Adam. And just a modicum of patience goes a long way.

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