A Race Against Time
We race against time blurring through the streets, trying to cross from one end of a city to another in order to arrive at a critical moment in time. This is a scenario that we’re all familiar with. Perhaps that critical moment was a hospital appointment, an important business meeting, or maybe a job interview. As a photographer it might be a point in time when his or her subject converges with the low sun’s light, opening up that one treasured photograph opportunity where the light is perfect.
Suppose as a photographer we made it and arrived on time for that critical moment and managed to capture that one treasured photograph timed to perfection. Well done that man! A whole three hours lost to time in-between locations amongst the daily grind. We were that busy fighting through the jungle of ambient lights and noise of the streets, that until we reached our destination, our cameras were never lifted once!
Stand Still, Be present
Instead of racing against time through the city in order to capture that one staged photograph full of flamboyance and perfection. If we anchor ourselves to the flow of time, stand still and be present, observing and capturing all that is happening around us, then we will find that we are surrounded by a different kind of familiarity. It is a familiarity that a busy lifestyle encourages us to shove under the carpet and become oblivious to.
As we anchor ourselves to the pace of time in order to observe this familiarity, we are not looking to capture a polished work of art full of perfect reflections and amazing shapes formed from shadows cast by the sun’s light, the kind that a photography class might have us look for. Nor are we looking to capture the kind of photograph found in holiday brochures, but rather the unprovoked and unstaged beauty of ‘the present’.
The present can quite often be ragged around the edges, don’t try to hide any imperfections, or blot them out of the photograph, instead let them breathe life into the photography. What will be captured is reality. A time and a place full of faces, real people, and real life. It is a beauty that needs no introduction, within it are a million stories about places and the people that live there. These are stories that every single person will find in the photography, no matter what nationality they may be, or walk of life they might lead.
“You can observe a lot by just watching.” – Yogi Berra
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