Friday, July 31, 2015

Photographing the commonplace

click photo to enlarge
Many enthusiast photographers, possibly the majority, spend a lot of time searching out extraordinary subjects for their camera, engaging in holidays and travel with photographic subjects in mind, studying the places and objects photographed by others, and even buying books and visiting websites that list the most photogenic locations for photography. By and large, that's not my way. Though I take my photography quite seriously, it more often than not comes about as a by product of another activity engaged in with my wife, be it walking, travelling, shopping, gardening etc. And, as I've said elsewhere in this blog, my photographic goal is not extraordinary subjects (though I'll photograph these if I come upon them) but an attempt at extraordinary photographs of ordinary subjects.

Photographing the commonplace and securing a good image of it is a very difficult thing to do, and if my experience is anything to go by, produces more failures than successes. But, when it happens, it is extremely satisfying because of the way the photograph reveals beauty and new interest in something so familiar. Seeing such subjects requires you to train your eye to notice them because, by their very nature, the commonplace is easily overlooked. What I find is that, for a while, my eye becomes attuned to seeking out these photographs and then, unaccountably, that facility declines for a period. I've been in a fallow spell for some time. However, the other day I saw this image (above) on the table next to me and, though I make no claim that it is extraordinary, I hope it's a sign of my return to this way of seeing.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm (90mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On