Recently, through the StepOutPhotography Collective, my friend Birka Weidmaier has challenged me to take imperfect photos. This challenge is harsh, I know what you’re thinking, there are never any imperfect photos posted to pagespics.com! To rise to this challenge I need to look at unusual angles and focus points. Secondly, I am not allowed to crop or adjust the horizon on my photos. I can take a week deciding if a horizon is straight, and trying to get it wrong ON PURPOSE sends shivers down my spine.
This challenge relates to how much time I spend in Lightroom. I may take between 10 minutes and an hour editing a photo before publication. What I think may be more detrimental to my photography is how much I stick to the rules. I adore composition and spend hours studying structure. I believe that knowing the rules of photography is vital for every Street Photographer, but understanding when to break them can elevate your work to another level.
Hopefully, the photos speak for themselves. I am strangely fond of the photo below, a picture I would have previously deleted straight away. Maybe it is just the dog, a friendly stray I have taken to feeding on the way to work. This challenge coincided with my choice to start walking to work, a distance of roughly 5km. Of course, this is an opportunity for photography, and I pass by any number of opportunities for pictures. If I take a long way home, there is a village dedicated to making Saris on ancient and loud wooden machinery. This challenge requires a different approach to my usual style of shooting as I am always walking fast (I usually dawdle when taking photos).
The more I photograph the closer I get to a consistent style, which is a cornerstone of any good portfolio. However, consistency does not mean that you cannot change and grow as a photographer. This challenge will not revolutionize the way I shoot. However, challenges open doorways to unfound tools laying dormant in our skillsets. While not fully transforming, new tools indicate growth. I can see myself coming out of this challenge being more aware of what I see in the viewfinder and relying less on the cropping and adjustment tools. Definitely a skill worth growing!
If you fancy joining me on this journey, why not pop your camera at an angle before taking a photo. Be spontaneous – anything else you need to think about!
Take care and keep clicking, Chris