Probably one of the first things that we do when we start making pictures is to look for a “suitable” subject to photograph. Today, with over 3 million pictures posted every day on social platforms, and so many of them being jaw-dropping images, it becomes difficult to take the plunge and put yourself out there in front of a global audience. Unfortunately, the only way we can move forward is to take this step, and learn as we go along.
So start shooting things that are around you, things that do not in any way add to your discomfort, and don’t make you feel uncomfortable. Take your time, compose your frame and then capture it. Now that you have made your first picture and are reasonably happy with the results, look for the next one. Take your time to enjoy the process, you will be surprised how many things you start to notice when you take time to just look…
This abandoned truck by the side of the road was probably left there as junk. But a closer look would reveal a blast of vibrant colors against a green background of weeds and leaves…the paint textures of the truck itself, leaves pushing out of the bonnet struggling to claim its right to sunlight, tyres embedded in the mud….so many small details again!
Sometimes an early morning walk can reveal so many things we have been unaware of. Walking along the scenic backwaters in Cochin we came across this pair of fishermen drawing their nets through the still waters in the hope of a catch for the day. For them it was an everyday chore, for us it was an awareness of how people live, and an opportunity to capture some of the amazing landscapes that we otherwise tend to ignore.
A train journey opens up a whole new experience in photography and life overall. In the picture above, the train had stopped for a signal, and after a bit of looking around, we noticed this family, quite comfortable sitting on the railway track taking care their young. It made no difference to them that the train alongside was full of curious onlookers like us, it was just another day, and another train full of people as far as they were concerned.
So don’t get too fussed about what to photograph and how to select subjects. If you do this on a regular basis for a few weeks the images will start getting better and better, stronger subjects will become evident, you will learn to start “seeing” what has always been there, but this time the subjects around you will start catching your attention. The above image was made along the Dubai creek as the sun went down, – the flying seagulls were an added bonus.
Just make sure you are out there very early, and get back home late, after the sun has gone down, these are the two best ways to slowly start filling up your portfolio with images that you will cherish.