How to look beyond the obvious to find great Photographs
There will be some times when a photograph will leap out and hit you between the eyes in all its glory – but at other times you sense there is a possibility of a picture in a location, but have to search a little harder for it.
I had one of those experiences on a walking holiday along the North Cornwall coastal path a couple of years ago. It was August and very hot, and the coastal path is pretty steep in places, so I didn’t have my full camera gear with me.
When I passed this amazingly coloured shed, I knew I would have to go back and visit it again with my camera.
However, at the time of day that I could be there, the light was completely wrong as you can see in this photo – the shed itself was in shadow while its background was brightly lit and distracting; and also there was a lot of clutter I didn’t like, such as concrete and drainpipes and bits of other buildings.
I knew I would have to go closer to exclude all the bits I didn’t want, and find a picture that worked. I noticed a flat stone about two thirds of the way up one of the doors, and that became the subject of my next photo.
I really liked the contrast in both texture and colour between the stone and the painted wood. I positioned the stone off to one side of the image rather than bang in the middle, to make a visually more interesting arrangement.
As I was working on this photo, I noticed that underneath the peeling pink paint you could see bits of blue paint coming through in places. I then spent a happy hour with my nose about 12 inches from the wood, looking for the best arrangement of colour and shape.
I know that peeling paint is a bit of a cliché, and I always thought I wouldn’t photograph it – but that was before I knew I might find these gorgeous shades of pink and blue together!
From the coastal path, all I had seen was a shed painted in a quirky colour. I could never have known all this texture and colour was there without going closer and looking more carefully. Sometimes there is a picture just waiting for you to find it!