Look for details!

Unexpected nose (A2_055219)

When travelling I’m usually encountering new locations every day, and am constantly looking for ways to capture interesting images. And many days I’m also encountering locations I’m familiar with, and still I need to find interesting images. Whether you’re in a new or familiar location, in the search for images it’s worth keeping an open mind.

The photographs in this post were made in the Recoleta Cemetery (in a suburb of Buenos Aires). It’s a fascinating location, full of sculptures, geometry, and textures. I’ve usually visited it at dawn, before the crowds arrive, and before the rays of the sun reach down into the laneways. This particular morning I was using an EOS 5DmkII with the 70-200mm/4 L IS lens, with a monopod to add stability (tripods are not allowed in the cemetery).

The above image was one I didn’t expect to find when I started out. Many of the mausoleums have plaques with names and faces on them, and some of the faces are quite ornate. At first glance it was just another face, but when I looked at it from the side, the nose “popped out” at me. By photographing it from the side at the widest aperture I could, your attention is directed to the nose even more by the very short depth of focus. It’s not a beautiful subject, but I definitely found it interesting. I didn’t expect to find this scene, but once I’d found it I started looking for more!

Over the next hour, whenever I wasn’t helping out my fellow photographers (participants in one of our LuminOdyssey Antarctic expeditions) I was looking for different angles and isolated views. And I had a great time!

Even if you’re not travelling, the next time you’re out with your camera try zooming in (sometimes by getting close) and looking at the details of the world around you. And the time after that, try capturing a wider view that still includes some of that detail.

Setting yourself targets like this can help you develop your photography. Finding inspiring targets along the way can be an unexpected blessing.

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