It’s Thursday evening and I am feeling uncomfortable, trying to balance the issues in my universe with a chocolate cake and a glass of wine. It’s not working. I have only couple of days left to come up with something for my next challenge which is “out of my comfort zone” – in terms of photography technique or topic or the photographer himself/herself feeling uncomfortable in the act of taking the picture. Sigh.
What makes me feel uncomfortable in the photography world?
It is indeed overdone HDR but I do not want to venture down that road. Tastefully executed HDR photos are fine and I look forward to those in other people’s submissions.
Another nemesis of mine is “pretend photo journalism” equaling capturing poverty or controversial social or political issues for pure gain of fame / money / both with little or none whatsoever return to the subject. I am not going to travel to the rubbish dump of Siem Reap to capture the miserable life of those living off the scraps of the city folk as this has been done before to highlight the said misery – without revealing also the positives and the help that is provided to those living in the harsh conditions. I am not going to capture the non-glamorous nightlife in the Asian cities and nor am I going to take a slice off the “orphanage tourism” pie – life in Asia is one big controversy and surely great stories along with powerful pictures are to be had almost on every corner but I believe in researching the topic and then coming up with something little more complex than a simple caption leaving the viewer hanging in the air. It is almost too easy to generate emotion with pictures of struggle, abuse, poverty, misery and the like and today’s world is full of them.
I feel nauseous viewing overly cheesy wedding or family photography so let’s steer clear of that as it is definitely an issue of taste and also fashion stamp of the times we live in. Luckily there are many talented photographers who manage to take great lifestyle shots leaving me with assurance that there is hope. This is also only my humble opinion on the matter.
I don’t really have issues with snapping photos of strangers. I enjoy low light photography and experiments with speed – capturing movement or movement blur. I am not saying am the master of all but these topics are definitely in my comfort zone. Crouching in the undergrowth in search of 8 legged creatures with many (eight at times) eyes comes close to being a pleasure so I won’t be able to use this venture either.
At this stage I think my “uncomfortable zone” will be setting the alarm to “silly o’clock”, dragging my sorry body out of bed and fueled by a shock dose of caffeine head out before the big red ball makes appearance on the horizon. I have not seen many of those as I like my pillow too much.
Watch this space…
Well, I have snoozed and snoozed and have not left my bed in time for sunrise. Too bad and expected…. Who was I kidding? I took a picture of my bed to prove that getting up itself is in fact leaving my comfort zone.
But that would be getting away too lightly. Being in a self-punishing mood I have grabbed my tripod and headed to the local markets. The light there is difficult, the place is crammed, smelly and hot, fish and shoes and bananas are all on display in the same section and if that’s not uncomfortable then I don’t know what is. My presence with my three legged friend made the trip to the market uncomfortable for others too – do I get any extra points for this? I suspect not. I decided to play with the shutter speed and blur the human element while focusing (mainly) on chicken feet with my own feet unsteady on the slippery and wet floor…. While I am somewhat immune to similar sights and smells I must admit that I was grateful for my slightly clogged up nose as normally the smell of fish and meat in the middle of the day is rather overpowering.
Below is a handful of market shots and these will be similar all over Cambodia. I will pick one before Sunday deadline.
Would you like a chicken claw with that?
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.