In this instalment of Thursday Travel Photography, let’s talk about the good old secret of getting better at things – to keep trying.
The second part of this article has weekly image reviews. If you would like to have your images reviewed to know what worked well and how it could have been improved, choose some of your best images and post them on group pool of India Travel and Photography. Don’t forget to tag them as itpcritique, so they can be chosen for review. You can also post your questions related to photography as a comment to this post, or in India Travel and Photography group discussion. I will answer them in next week’s article.
KEEP GOING BACK
There are many occasions when I have been to a beautiful place, but came back without pictures that reflect its beauty. The reasons could be many. It could be bad weather, or that I may not have had enough time to get a good shot, or that I simply may not have managed a good composition of the subject. Whatever be the reason, it pays to keep trying.
The most important rule about trying again and again is to choose a subject or location that is easily accessible. It is obviously impossible to keep going back an exotic location in a faraway place. A better choice would be a hillock outside the town or a pretty place that makes a good weekend drive. It pays to choose one of your favourite places where you always look forward to return to.
Looking at my own images, I can’t help but see that some of my favourite images were shot after repeated visits to the same location, trying again and again to find a good picture or a good composition. A good example is Nandi Hills, where I might have gone nearly a dozen times but had not made it back with images worth recalling. But last winter, in yet another photo-trip to the hill, I finally had a shot that I felt good about.
A picture of Nandi Hills last winter. Despite many visits earlier, this is a perspective that had never occurred to me. The weather also worked in my favour that day.
The same applies to the picture of Hirekolale Lake below, which was taken in my third visit to the place.
In my first visit to this lake, I hardly managed a decent picture. In the second visit, I more or less had this composition in my mind, but the weather was not in my favour. Everything fell in place for the picture in the third trip.
The good thing about returning to the same place is that you often know what doesn’t work well. You have already worked on the location earlier, and have many wasted compositions that you already know about. It helps you to explore new things, push to your limits and go and experiment more possibilities. It helps you find new perspectives.
Besides that, repeated visits may help you see the place in various weathers and moods. For example, Nandi Hills tends to be flat and bland even in early hours of the morning during summer. During the monsoons, it stays wet and foggy till 10am or even later, and the perspective you get is completely different. Visibility drops down to a few meters, and the views of the neighbouring hills just don’t exist. In winter, low lying fog or layers of clouds create a completely different kind of magic. The more you visit, more variations of these moods you will find. More familiar you are with the place, more new things you will discover, and better images you will come out with.It is important to keep going back instead of being done with the place in the first visit.
I remember coming back unsatisfied from my last visit to Badami, unhappy that I could not do justice to the beauty of the place with the camera. Most of my time there was spent seeing and discovering, leaving me little time to work on photography. I intend to get back there again in a month or two when the monsoon is at its best. This time, I have a few thoughts already etched in my mind about the locations and compositions. And as I wander the hills of Badami trying to execute those composition, my mind will also be working on new possibilities for another visit. It could very happen that I may not make good images even in my second visit. But that only helps me make plans for my third trip.
No place will be exhausted easily, and the more visits you make, more mature are your images going to get.
The image below is posted for review by flickr user paandu
I can hardly find any faults in this beautiful picture from Orchha. The river looks clear and nice, and the structure looks pretty too. The composition looks neat, with some interesting foreground. The main subject gets its due prominence. The morning light is slightly warm(yellowish) and adds a nice tone to the colour of the building. Shadows cast by the light on the building and the rocks are not harsh. There is little to complain about in the image. I wish the cables in front of the building did not exist, but I can’t see a way around it either. I can only think of a small improvement in the image by composing it a little tight, zooming in a little more towards the subject. You can see my choice of crop by going to the flickr page for the image and hovering the mouse on the image.
If you would like to have your images reviewed to know what worked well and how it could have been improved, choose some of your best images, post them on group pool of India Travel and Photography and tag them as itpcritique. Only tagged images are taken for reviewing. You can also post your questions related to photography as a comment to this post or in India Travel and Photography group discussion. I will answer them in next week’s article.