It is a statement on what really matters to me…
There are many reasons why we take pictures. Some of us just want to share key moments with their friends or families. Some others just want to do it for fun or to fulfil an egotistical inner-self on facebook or instagram. For me, taking pictures has always been about telling a story, making a statement on what keeps me emotionally engaged with a scene or a subject.
This weekend I’ve been wandering across Chinatown in London. I was looking for an interesting subject whose story would speak for itself. So, I’ve come across this man who was supporting a petition against organ trafficking in China.
There was something about his look, the way he was staring quietly at the tourists passing by. You could tell most of them were deliberately avoiding him. In a matter of a second, I checked the exposure, composed everything and pressed the shutter speed.
Man in Chinatown, London
I was happy with the picture. First of all, I wanted to capture the drama on his face so I focused on his eyes. Then, I chose a somewhat balanced shutter-speed: high enough to keep the main subject tack-sharp and low enough to keep blurry the woman approaching on the right.
I post-processed the photo later on in a Pret a Manger nearby Leicester Square. While I had Lightroom on, I found this passage on my kindle in The art of photography: a personal approach to artistic expression, by photographer Bruce Barnbaum. I think it captures the essence of photography and I hope you’ll find it as useful as I have.
“A meaningful photograph—a successful photograph—does one of several things. It allows, or forces, the viewer to see something that he has looked at many times without really seeing; it shows him something he has never previously encountered; or, it raises questions—perhaps ambiguous or unanswerable—that create mysteries, doubts, or uncertainties. In other words, it expands our vision and our thoughts. It extends our horizons. It evokes awe, wonder, amusement, compassion, horror, or any of a thousand responses. It sheds new light on our world, raises questions about our world, or creates its own world.”