It’s been nearly six months since I last went to Bombay; a trip I have mixed feelings about, since I mostly went for my cousin’s wedding, and despite being there for a month weather and schedules and general fatigue conspired to keep me grounded most of the time.
I took a lot of pictures — thousands — but most of them are personal, of family and friends, and I don’t share those. Looking through my haul before committing them to DVD backups (remember, kids: back up frequently, often, and in multiple mediums), I found that in between the personal photographs I had snuck in an artistic one here and there.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I had got a lot of photographic toys that month. One invaluable purchase just before we left for India was a cheap manual flash and a wireless trigger. It helped out a lot in the finicky lighting of the wedding venue, and while I still have no idea how to use it effectively, a lot of fun was had experimenting with my equally photo-crazy cousins — such as in the shot above.
Sometimes you’re stuck at home with nothing to do, and when the urge to photograph strikes you’ll point a camera at anything just to scratch that itch. This isn’t a bad thing, as you can get plenty of interesting pictures around the average household.
And sometimes, all you need to do is look at things in isolation.
Speaking of isolation, a willing human subject is always a good thing to photograph, and if they aren’t made up and feeling pretty first thing on a Sunday morning, you can still get a good photo out of the rest of them.
At last! A chance to go out. Planting myself firmly in the front passenger’s seat, we set off for Navi Mumbai. The good thing about any Indian wedding is that there is always the possibility of traveling somewhere for it and various ancillary functions.
I had just attached my 58mm manual zenit lens, this was my first time taking it out of the house — and it was stuck at F2 since I hadn’t modified the aperture pin yet.
Considering all these factors plus the moving car, and my general failure at taking to new things (or old things, for that matter), some of these pictures didn’t turn out half bad.
The joy and excitement of doing something new and unfamiliar is sometimes just the thing required to make you stop over-thinking things. Sure, many of these pictures could be better, had I spent hours and hours getting to grips with the lens at home, learning its finer points on pictures of bottles or something — but a trial by fire (or a trial by moving car on insane Indian roads while manually-focusing at F2, as it were) is often the best way to do something new.
Put another way: you need raw brick to make a solid building, even if said raw brick is never seen by any of the occupants. Look, a cliche metaphor and an appropriate picture to go with it!
In the end, of course, thinking about things helps, and whenever you get a chance you should definitely stop to smell the flowers, and maybe take a photo or two.
Keep Looking. The photos will find you.
(NOTE: All the photos in this post, shot in colour, were post-processed by simple saturation, contrast and gamma alteration in IrfanView, hands down the most simple and invaluable image viewer and editor on the planet. I’ve been using it nearly every day for 14 years now. If you haven’t, then do give it a try.)