“The tourist may complain of other tourists, but he would be lost without them.”
The following are photos of tourists in Barcelona. Interesting to see how many people now use their phones and even tablets are their primary camera.
The rare double tablet photograph.
Last week I was visiting New York City and this gave me the opportunity to create some cinemagraphs. These were taken all over the city whenever we encountered anything interesting.
Cinemagraphs are really interesting because it makes you look at something differently. I don’t just want a strong static composition, but I have to consider the dynamic element and if it will actually add something to the image. The following are far from perfect but a start to a very interesting experiment.
Every time I visit Seoul, I make sure to drop by either Gyeongbokgung or Deoksugung. Either I am incredible lucky or the changing of guard ceremony is a mobius strip of marching. Either way I always manage to be in the right place to take pictures of the colorfully dressed guards with the palace in the background. Knowing the ceremony can end at any time, I run around trying to get the best angle and try to scout out the soldier with the best fake beard or most intense expression. Other time, I try to go for a more abstract angle and just photograph the row of marching feet wearing classic Korean footwear. During this, the huge drums are beating, the horns produce sharp melodies which increase my pace as I am seeking the perfect photo (which I am still looking for).
After the guards are replaced they offer photo opportunities for tourists. There is a coordinator helping the events along and is also willing to take a photo if you are a solo traveller. This is the perfect chance to take closer up pictures of the guards. You need to maneuver around a bit to avoid getting other visitors in your shot and background.
One big advantage is that this guard changing ceremony is done by the main gates of these palaces and is outside of the entrance booth, so they are free of charge. The palaces are worth paying for to see the insides though, but if you are running low on time or funds this is great photo opportunity.
The guards are members of the Korean military. There is mandatory two year enrollment into the military by all South Korean males. I don’t know if the job of reenacting a historical guard is a prestigious position. What do you think?
EDIT: Thanks to Lolipop in the comments, I see I was misinformed about the guards being part of the military. Thanks for that.
dip·tych \ˈdip-(ˌ)tik\: a work made up of two matching parts
In the pre-digital era these were created with half frame camera’s. I briefly discussed this before in my golden half review. Not everybody shot in this way, some people would cut the frame in two seperating the two images, but some would compose with a diptich in mind, making sure that the two separate picture arranged together create one stronger image.
Now in the digital era this is done with Photoshop and with that in mind I had a walk around the central business district of Singapore to create diptychs. I am not happy with the results but I had fun thinking of combining two elements and how to frame and arrange. I looked at other diptychs people had created on flickr and I liked the unbalanced aspect. Both images don’t have to be the same size this creates some tension which I enjoy.
I think the next time I go out to shoot diptychs I want to combine elements not so obviously related yet still function together to create one image. A portrait session with the intent of creating diptycs also sounds like a fun challenge.
Laid back, with my mind on my theme and my theme on my mind
Going out to shoot with a specific theme in mind can be very productive. Its helps you visualize images you may have otherwise not seen. It doesn’t prevent you from taking shots outside this theme but it allows you to structure each angle and perspective into whatever theme you are working with. You can revisit locations you have been to many times before and create new images by working within the boundaries of the theme.
I went out last Sunday to the Central Business District of Singapore (CBD), with the theme “urban desolate” in mind. The first thing I did when I get there is to notice I had forgotten my memory cards. I then had a lunch in frustration, went home, took an angry nap and returned a few hours later. The CBD during weekdays is crowded place and walking around on Sunday is a stark contrast and I wanted my images to reflect that. I had some other themes I always enjoy as a standby, “street lines” is one of them and on my next post I will show a picture of that.
Looking up the definition of desolation on dictionary.com gives me:
1. A state of complete emptiness or destruction.
2. Anguished misery or loneliness
That sounds stronger and harsher than what I wanted to portray so maybe words like empty or lonely are more applicable.
Enjoy the following nine photography quotes and two of my images using film.
“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”
“Anyone can take a picture…a person with a passion sees the picture before it’s taken.”
“The pictures you want tomorrow, you have to take today.”
“The world’s coming to an end! …Quick, grab your camera!”
“Life is about turning up. The more you get yourself out there, whether you wake up at 5:00 a.m. to pouring rain or not, the more you’re likely to experience the wonderful happenings that are going on all around you. Sometimes the most interesting visual phenomena occur when you least expect it. Other times, you think you’re getting something amazing and the photographs turn out to be boring and predictable. So I think that’s why, a long time ago, I consciously tried to let go of artist’s angst, and instead just hope for the best and enjoy it. I love the journey as much as the destination. If I wasn’t a photographer, I’d still be a traveler.”
“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.”
“There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
“A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there–even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity.”
“Every photograph is a battle of form versus content.”