Thursday, May 26, 2011
Good pictures can be found anywhere.
Good pictures really can be found anywhere. You just need to know what you find interesting. In some ways I'm writing this to myself as much as I am to you folks out there. As a photographer who has spent a great part of his life hopping on a plane to somewhere else, I really felt disconnected from my local community here in Cairns.
I hardly ever went to events (that my kids didn't want to!) or photographed festivals, gatherings. Anything really. The lure of the exotic was always far more appealing to me and I didn't really tend to get my cameras out until after I got off the plane. Or if I did photograph locally it was when I was on assignment.
But in the last few months I've started work on a couple of long-term projects. One a collaboration with an author friend of mine, and the other a personal project. And they've both required me to be more proactive in thinking of areas of interest that can be photographed locally.
Now here's the important part - you have to be interested in it not just as a photographic subject, but as an actual subject full stop. The more engaged and interested you are, the more perceptive and insightful your images will be. And the more passionate.
Now I live in a tourist town. We've got the Great Barrier Reef, we've got the Daintree up the road, Cape York, the Atherton Tablelands. We get millions of tourists a year visiting us and you're thinking 'but hey nobody ever visits my town'. Well these two projects I'm about to start work on have nothing whatsoever to do with travel or tourism. So they could be done anywhere.
Don't pigeonhole yourself in terms of what you want to photograph. I know I fell into that trap as a 'travel' photographer. But for now I'm sticking close to home for a little bit and walking down a slightly different avenue. One that I'm really excited about and can't wait to explore with my cameras.
Discover what it is that moves you and work toward photographing it. Get involved in it. Find the story, find your angle, discover what you personally can bring to the project. And go for it. No matter where you live there are stories dying to be told with your camera. Worry about an audience later, or not at all. Your choice but just get out there and do it. I know I will be!