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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The quiet pictures

Maybe it's because I have two rambunctious little boys that never give me a moment's peace and quiet! But whatever it is I often try to capture quiet little moments.

In photography we're often encouraged to go for the 'hero shots', the ones that make everybody gasp. But often you find that quiet little moments can tell more of a story.

Take this shot here. Nothing particularly 'wow that's amazing' about it whatsoever. But for me it's quite a poignant moment.

I was on a trek through the hills of northern Thailand and we had just spent the night in a tiny village of the Lhisu people. A minority tribe who had escaped persecution from Burma and now lived in the northern hills of Thailand, part of their economy was to put on dance shows for the visitors.

The previous night we had sat and danced and sang around a big bonfire and the local men and women had worn traditional clothing for the show. It was a great time and I'd show you some pictures only I stupidly had my flash pointed upwards into the sky and didn't get a single shot!

Anyway when I woke up the next morning I stumbled out to find the beautiful dance clothes from the night before thrown haphazardly across this pole. The owners were walking around in shorts and t-shirts, their traditional clothes discarded with the night's performance.

For me, more than photographing the dance the night before, this shot of their discarded tradition said more about what had happened and the way these people lived than anything else.

Definitely not a 'hero shot'. It definitely does not scream 'wow look at me, I'm amazing'. But it's a quiet little moment that to me tells a story and has a lot of personal meaning. Don't get so caught up in trying to catch the big moment that you miss the little details that tell the stories of our lives.

Here's hoping you have a quiet weekend. :)

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