Monday, January 25, 2010
Don't forget the little details
As travel photographers our task is to tell the stories of the places we visit. But as photographers we tend to get caught up in the vicious circle of trying to create the greatest piece of photography ever seen.
It's pretty hard not to be influenced by all the great imagery we see in our favourite magazines, on websites and on TV.
But as story tellers our job is much more than grabbing the 'wow' shots. We also need to take notice of the little details and show them to our viewers so that they get a full appreciation of the places we visit.
This image here was taken at the Jantar Mantar observatory in Rajasthan, India. The site is home to giant structures used to predict the passage of the stars and I took lots of wide-angle images showing the giant structures. But they were just pictures of large structures that looked very impressive but didn't really tell the story of what their purpose was.
To tell that story I had to look for a place where the sun and shadow met. Where the measurements were taken and used to make their predictions. So I hunted around for a place where the sun showed how the instruments worked. Looking closely at one of the giant sun dials I found a shadow across a set of measured carvings and the Hindi character for one - Ek. At least I'm pretty sure that's what it is - maybe some of our Indian friends can tell us if I'm right.
Anyway this shot says far more about how the instruments would have been used but of itself is not a 'wow' picture. It's just a good story telling one that helps tell the complete tale to the viewer. So before you leave a place after only photographing the big moments, take another walk around and look for some little details that will help you tell a complete travel story.