Three New Years Resolutions…

… you may wish to ignore

The booze has worn off and it’s back to work. At this time of year we start thinking about improving our lives and our photography. Once again I find myself promising to eat less and exercise more. But what photography resolutions are there to be made? There is a plethora of advise available on what to do in 2020, but I remain sceptical on some of the ideas published.

I have added three photos to this post, all taken during my last photo walk of 2019.

When life gives you lemons, sell lemons.

Always have a camera on you.

Firstly, we always have a phone on us anyway. But should you always have your pro, or street camera with you? I think not and here is why. When I have my camera on me I am always switched on and looking for a shot. I find it hard to forget about it. There are times I just want to chill out and relax. Yes I may miss an award winning photo opportunity, but dare I say it, some things are better off seen without the camera. Lastly I believe that to be creative you need a break from what you love – even for a little while. So occasionally, put down the camera and look up to smell the roses.

I couldn’t find a photo of roses….

Don’t Buy New Gear

We are often warned against GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome), and are urged to stick with one camera and one lens for a year. This novel idea for a resolution is ‘guaranteed’ to make you a better photographer. I’m not convinced that less is always more. I generally use a 50mm prime lens, but sometime I want to go wider and use my 35mm lens. This Christmas I purchased a 28-75mm zoom, which will be great for travel. People should feel free to get the gear they need to do the job they want. One lens does not do everything, don’t believe the hype!

Woman and dog who were under a lorry

Start a Project

Starting a project is a great idea. However, if you are not engaged in a project then do not panic. During 2019 I became obsessed with finding the next ‘big’ project, often letting my desire for something new obscure the tasks at hand (and I had a lot of projects on the go anyway). This was crazy! During December I forgot about travel and street photography, instead I focused on candid images of family and friends. As a result I am now bristling with ideas for 2020. The take away from this is that projects are important, but taking a break from them can be priceless.

That all for today folks, keep clicking.

Chris

My Favourite Street Photo's of 2019

Without further ado and very few words, here are my favourite Street Photos of 2019…

Captured in a fishing village (Mumbai).
Laundry Worker (Mumbai)
Steel Worker (Mumbai)
Worker (Mumbai)
Bangla Road (Phuket/ Thailand)
Morning Wash (Delhi)
Chicken Butcher (Delhi)
Sugar Cane (Yelahanka New Town, Bangalore)
Night Time Yelahanka (Bangalore)
Mason, by Muslim Burial Ground near Hebbal (Bangalore/ India)
Steel Worker (Mumbai)
Fishing Village (Mumbai/ India)

Looking at this collection it appears that I achieve the best work when I travel and disappear by myself. Lets hope there will be more exploring in 2020. Happy New Year!

Take care and keep clicking, Chris

Photographic Marinade

Incase you have not noticed, Christmas is approaching fast. This is the time of year when it is good to take a look at the photos captured over the previous 12 months. This task involves deleting an awful lot of rubbish, but also helps uncover a few forgotten, or overlooked gems. This year’s annual cull started over the weekend and I found a batch of photos that had not been published. The images accompanying this article were all captured around the Bangla Road area of Phuket, and yes, I had forgotten about them!

Bangla Road, Phuket

The Marinade

I love a decent marinade. Yogurt with a good dollop of tikka masala will improve chicken, and beef rested in Guinness works a treat. The trick here is to LEAVE whatever you have done and come back to it later. In this sense ‘marinade’ has become a metaphor for leaving photos alone. Garry Winogrand is known for not even processing his images till a year had passed (he shot film…obviously).

Taxi!

The Importance of Time

Most of us are guilty of coming back from a photoshoot, processing the best images and uploading them to social media. However, it is hard to be a subjective judge of your own work. Often we judge photos based on the experience had while taking them, or the effort that was expended on travelling to a location. Street photography is difficult, and it can be hard to admit that a morning’s work may have ended with very little in the way of images worth publishing.

When we leave our photographs for weeks, months, or years, we lose our emotional attachment and see the images with new eyes.

Party Bus

Hidden Gems

When we first view our photos, there are always the initial obvious choices for editing and publishing. However, these choices are often cliched, or repetitions of similar other images often seen on social media. To stand out you need to be different – going back through earlier images may reveal gems previously missed. In addition, remember that photos change over time, the historical edge of a photo can make it stand out from the crowd.

That is all for today folks. Keep Clicking,

Chris

KR Market Re Visited

KR Market in Bangalore remains one of my favourite local photography locations. At first glance, the market appears an area of complete chaos. However, scratch under the surface and there is a structure that supports multiple industries, individuals and businesses. Many of my photographs are headshots, but recently I have been working on creating images that tell a bigger picture.

Smile!
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10 Tips for Better Travel Photography. Part 2

Firstly, thanks to Brenda for pointing out that for most of these tips, you do not really have to travel far. This brings me to my first discussion point…

Long Distance Travel not required!

Bangalore City Market – 30 Minutes travelling time from home
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Street Photography Mysore

I realise that I am half way through an article of 10 tips for travel photography. It will get finished. One day… In the meantime I have just returned from a weekend in Mysore, a growing city in South India. While there I managed to undertake an early morning’s Street Photography in Mysore’s historic market place.

Bananas
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The Instagram Debate…

Should I say or should I go?

I keep toying with this article, and I am not quite sure if it is completely finished or not. The internet is littered with pro and negative articles on Instagram at the moment. Anyway, here are a few of my thoughts. The images I have added are completely unrelated and come from a recent shoot in Phuket. Enjoy, feel free to comment…

A heated discussion?

Instagram is being re-branded and will now be known as ‘Instagram from Facebook’. As Instagram is already owned by Facebook, I see little changing with the platform. By now, most photographers will have realised that the stakes have changed when making a post, and the visibility of each image is determined by an ever-changing algorithm. Chasing likes, fake profiles and influencers are all bringing the topic of Instagram to the boiling point. The question is, should you remain with IG, or look for something new?

Bar Stool with a View

It is all about the adverts.

Silicon Valley is portrayed as an industry run by geeks in jeans, who want to make the world a better place. In reality, the internet is run by large corporations with the mindset of a tobacco merchant. The internet can be harmful and addictive, affecting sleep, relationships and self-perception. However, it is a great tool for advertising. The longer you are on Instagram, the more money the corporation makes. It is clearly in Instagram’s interest to increase its addictive qualities.

Your Time = Their Profits!

The Pros and Cons

I arrived late to Instagram, and my following is embarrassingly small. It takes a lot of effort to keep up with trending hashtags and to maintain a fresh and innovative feed. With the use of hashtags, groups such as National Geographic pick the best images to ‘feature’, if your photo is chosen by one of the popular pages, you can expect thousands of likes. Yet most of the time, it is these popular feeds you will be competing with. How do your photos stack up against a collection of images curated daily by a professional editor?

While It is hard to stand out on Instagram, it is high-quality feeds that make the platform worth viewing. As photographers, we can improve our own work, by viewing the best photos captured by other people. At the moment, Instagram remains one of the best places to do this.

Not everyone likes Instagram, but we all love Street Food

A Solution?

There is a way fight against the addictive qualities of Instagram. I have recently deleted a host of social media applications from my phone. This has restricted the time I can spend on each platform, as I can only log on when I am at home on my desktop.

5am/ Patong

Secondly, I try to curate my feed. There is an incentive to follow thousands of people, in the hope that some of these will follow you back. However, it is impossible to actively engage with such a large community, and with a busy feed you often miss seeing the photos you are interested in. A well-curated feed consistently provides high-quality images, and takes a short amount of time to review. A smaller feed also provides greater opportunities for meaningful interaction, which is something that the algorithm (apparently) favours.

Conclusion…

Instagram has its faults, but it is still the premier tool for connecting photographers. I am a remainer (but only just).

Take Care and Keep Clicking, Chris

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