Image Conscious (And The Story Behind Each Shot)
Since this week's Photo Hunt theme is "Favourites", I've tried to select three of my most cherished images, not just for what they depict in colour and form, but for the story that goes with each shot.
2006. Calcutta, India
This was taken on a hot, sticky, intensely humid night during a very brief and unexpected visit to the city where I was born. It was in the middle of the Pujas, the peak Hindu festival season and it was also the night before Id, the major Muslim festival.
At this street bazaar behind the New Market, the crowds were almost impenetrable. There was no threat, no danger, for these were only shoppers in holiday mood. This was no street for someone in a hurry. The car inched along until I decided the best thing was to go on foot in search of some photographs.
I was dripping perspiration when I finally saw a stall selling colourful bangles. I had taken half a dozen frames when I saw this display – and immediately I knew I had a shot to treasure, if only I could get it right.
I steadied myself against the passing crowd. I chose my settings carefully in the darkness, to make the best use of the single naked bulb above the display. And, yes, I ignored the squadron of little green Diwali flies that were biting my scalp.
2007. Yarra River, Melbourne
The sun was coming up over the Melbourne Cricket Ground as I walked across Princes Bridge. It was not a frosty morning, but still one of those cold Melbourne dawns – and the blowtorch of golden light reflected on the Yarra River was a breathtaking sight.
As always, there were rowers and kayakers on the river and I could see that one was heading on a course that would run parallel to the pooling light. I waited patiently, thankful for the 18-125mm lens that enabled me to frame exactly what I wanted.
I didn’t wait until the low keel was in the middle of the frame. I understand just how powerful an asymmetrical composition can be in terms of emphasis and I wanted the hull and the oars off-centre, so that the liquid gold would be the main focal point and the eye would notice the rower as a value-added bonus to the composition.
2007. Dandenong Road, Melbourne
There are winter fogs in Melbourne, but this was one of the most interesting I’ve ever seen. This was shot at about 5am as I drove down Dandenong Road towards the city.
For all the world, it looked as if someone had smeared orange jelly across my windscreen. I pulled over, put my hazard lights on and because there was no traffic at all I was able to take some interesting semi-ghostly shots looking straight down the road.
But I needed some other object or device, to use as a counterpoint to the striking colour of the fog. I walked down the broad median strip that doubles as the tram tracks – and found my lodestone there. Not only was there a tall palm tree to use in silhouette, there was also a tram shelter. Because of its construction, it not only provided a slender silhouette, but gave me a Shrek-like sheen through the glass panels as well.
The quality of the street lights in the thick fog evoked an image of Dickensian London and it also gave me an interesting reflection across the metal of the tram shelter. I guess this is one of those images that could have been shot in any century, in any city.
There is a certain timeless quality to it and you almost expect to see Bill Sykes and Fagin emerging from the orange gloom.
Visit TNChick, creator of Photo Hunt. Today's theme: "Favourite".