The Inuit have a word which describes this long wait at a seal hole for prey to surface or the waiting on sea ice for a lead to close. Quinuituq or ‘deep patience’ literally means the long waiting, prepared for a sudden event. Or as someone once put it, ‘It’s waiting hours for one second’. Great photographs of the landscape and its native wildlife are similarly the results of personal observation over a long period in which a photographer must immerse himself to understand the land’s patterns and cycles. Like the hunter, he too is attempting to place himself in a location that will allow him to take advantage of a situation that has not yet developed. The success of the final image is the fusion between direct experience and by what was seen through the viewfinder. Quinuituq for me is not simply a question of waiting ‘hours for one second’, but often ‘years for that one second’.
Signed by Colin Prior