Sam Abell talks about taking a year to make a picture

“Sammy…compose your picture and wait. Compose and wait.”

-Sam Abell recalls his father’s advice

In the video above, from The Atlantic, Sam Abell recalls taking a year to make a picture of bison skulls for a National Geographic story on the life of American cowboy painter Charles M. Russell. The story here hits close to home for me; the areas Abell photographed for the story are where I grew up, and my high school was named for Russell. Be sure to watch to the end of the video; the story on the airplane is great.

4 Responses to “Sam Abell talks about taking a year to make a picture”

  1. Cosmin

    As Minor White said: “However long or short the exposure is, Time stops for the photographer it has chosen”. That bison really gives life to that photo. Great work!

    Reply
  2. Davin Ellicson

    He made a lot of money off of ad work for Marlboro. I remember interning for Steve McCurry back in 2001 and seeing many images for Marlboro in his files as well. . . definitely a surefire way to fund the personal work!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um74DKYlta8

    Reply
  3. 30 Minutes to Better Photos (A Talk) | MichaelGowin.com/blog

    [...] Compose and wait – This is a lesson I learned from National Geographic photographer Sam Abell. Be patient and wait for your pictures. Take your time, take several frames. Try different lenses [...]

    Reply

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