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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Watching and waiting

Even when you only have a short period of time it's worth waiting a couple of minutes here and there to complete a picture.

I was in the middle of a mad rush around the Japanese countryside on assignment for a magazine. Because it was a writing as well as photography assignment it meant I had to cover quite a few things in a few short days.

I also had my wife and two young boys along for the ride so it was bedlam all round! One place we visited was an aquarium called Marine Park Nixe. It was a cloudy old day and not much good for outdoor photography but the inside of the aquarium provided some interesting compositions.

I really liked this tank and the contrast between it and the bright blue tanks in the background. I took this shot but one look and I knew without any people in it there wasn't that much life in the image, or any point in having the background tanks. By themselves they weren't much of interest because you can't rally see any fish in them from this distance.

So I hung around for five minutes or so and waited. Sure enough a couple of people started walking through. I already had my aperture, zoom settings and composition set so as soon as this woman walked into the frame I quietly lifted the camera up to my eye and clicked.

When you have people (or any object really) in a silhouette you need to make sure that it's really clear what the object is, otherwise it's just a big black lump.

With people you need to have them in profile so you can see the outline of a human face clearly.

What do you think? I think the second shot is a much better travel image with a person in it. The first one is more a shot of the tanks themselves, whereas the second one is a picture of people interacting with the tanks. A subtle difference that's worth waiting a couple of minutes for.

Oh and in case you're wondering why I didn't use my family as models. If you think they're gonna sit around and wait while Dad takes pictures you've got another think coming! They head off to do their own thing. Saves a lot of tears and arguments. :)

Have a great weekend and don't forget to get your entries in for the photo comp. Scroll down to the kookaburra for details.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Paul Dymond said...

Thankyou for the comments Joyce, I hope you enjoy the reading and if you have any questions just fire away.