“You Have Stumbled on In Darkness, You Have Been Pulled in Different Directions”
Kareem peeks timidly around the archway, into the frame. The man drops his camera and smiles at the boy, who ducks back into the vestibule of his home. The man snaps a few more photos of his wife sitting, standing, strutting up the stairs. The man and his wife depart; two more take their place. Kareem peeks timidly around the archway, into the frame.
I don’t necessarily understand all art. I accept that I’m not meant to know or understand everything, and people laugh when I say that, but it’s true. Art that I do understand, is something I can touch or taste. I don’t get anything out of going to museums and looking at paintings or sculptures I can’t put my hands on. If I can’t actively engage with it in a way I like, I’m not interested.
I was hiking in a local state park called Balboa Park in San Diego, California and I had just finished hiking one of the easier trails and was making my way off the trail when I came across a bunch trash and scattered records on a bridge that leads from one set of hiking trails to more advanced and deeper hiking trails, and amongst the records was Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Being that I'm a huge Beethoven fan I felt like I had to capture this image, I thought how lucky am I to have come across such an amazing image. My initial thought was why would someone break a Beethoven record and leave it here like that. I’ve always loved classical music and have been lucky enough to attend a number of orchestral performances so my inspiration for capturing this image was partly inspired by wanting to capture a great scene and because I love classical music and this cover was lain across as if it were waiting to be photographed. When I take a photograph, I try to find things that you wouldn’t come across every day or that people would ordinarily miss.
I shot this strange photo on my iPhone 6plus while on a weekend getaway in Bellingham, WA in January.
This picture was taken whilst hiking on a mountain fool of rocks. It was the highest hike I had ever been to and the view was entirely worth it . It took hours for me and a group of my friends to get to the top of the elevation whilst taking various of shots I finally got the picture. The picture seemed to imitate a still image of my ambitions, the high peaks and boulders , resembling my aspirations and goals . I love this picture as it wasn’t planned, and it shows a true combination of artificial art and nature ; the city ; the sky and the sea. Almost like bringing the four elements together. A part of the picture that may not be noticeable that stood out to me was the little bush next to the rock. It gave the picture a settling , comfortable and unblemished feeling. We tend to forget nature when we live in the city and once in a while a hike can really remind us of our beautiful natural atmosphere and surroundings. I took this picture with my phone and didn’t apply any artificial format or setting to the original phone setting that it came with.
Choosing just one picture was a very hard choice as I have an emotional attachment to most of my pictures. However, I decided to choose the picture that I was motivated to take the most. The picture that required constant effort and required a lot of editing . But all of my efforts were not done in vain as I ended up loving the picturesque of the final picture. I chose a photo that I hope will allow people to experience the magic I felt when looking at the aesthetics of the temple when I shoot the picture.
It was a perfect, crisp fall evening in early November 2019. November 10th to be exact, the day my nephew Landon (my subject) turned 6 months old. I just got home from work and I had been talking with my sister all day about taking photos of my nephew for his big 6 months. We were sitting in my room trying to figure out what we wanted to do; have it inside on the woodland themed blanket that had 1-12 months sewn into it, have it inside with a big sheet just draping and we create a cute scene, we had so many ideas. While we were sitting in my room brainstorming I was looking outside and was thinking of ways I could make a dead, lifeless trees look good. I saw that there were a bunch of leaves, painted beautifully with yellow and orange colors and immediately, I knew I needed to make a pile so I could sit my nephew in the middle and get some adorable photos. I unfortunately couldn’t find a rake so I had to use a broom and swept the surrounding leaves into a big pile in an area that had the sun slowly setting in the background. I captured so many photos; some of him just in HDR, some in portrait mode (my personal favorite and what this photo was taken in), some of him falling, laughing, eating leaves, and this one. This one photo. The only photo I got of him looking at the camera and it is perfect. His hands softly raised with a soft gaze into the camera with a leaf pressed gently against his lips. Out of the hundreds of photos I have taken of him in his 9 months of life, this one photograph still remains my favorite. After Landon queued that our photoshoot was coming to an end (became a Kim kardashian crying face mess), I went inside and started browsing through the hundred photos I had just taken. Some bad, some good, some blurry. I then decided to go through the best and started editing. When it came to this photo, I knew I wanted to make Landon even more of the main focus and I wanted to enhance the portrait mode effect so I went into photoshop express and did just that. I blurred the background and foremost leaves more to focus more of the attention on Landon and his soft composure. I then went into my favorite app when it comes to photography,VSCO, so I could add a filter. I wanted something warm; something that highlighted the yellows in the leaves and the red in his plaid as well as complimenting the black, grey, and blue. The filter A4 did just that — and it added a touch of moodiness in the clouds behind that makes Landon pop even more. After playing with some other settings, I also decided to put the exposure down to -1.1, as well as bumping the contrast up +0.7. I sharpened up the photo a small amount as well just to to bring attention to Landon’s soft features and dark chocolate eyes. The moodiness of the background against the warmth and light of the subject along with the golden leaves makes a sort of glow on Landon and makes your eyes automatically drawn to him. His subtle gaze making the world seem still for just as long as you stare into his eyes. All of this possible with the little help of a phone with three cameras, a dash of photoshop and a sprinkle of VSCO.
This photo shows the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland engulfed in fog in the early morning. At the time (about a week ago, week ago) I was camping in a cabin near the bay (it was in walking distance) and it was freezing. My inspiration behind this photo was a step into the unknown; a fear I have always possessed. Over the past year or so, I have been taking a series of photos with the same message to overcome this fear of mine.
After almost nine months into a year of travel through Europe and Asia, I’ve found greater clarity when it comes to why I take a photo. There are the photos I take for the purposes of documentation and then there are the photos that I take to capture a specific moment in time, a feeling, a rush of movement or stillness. Some places transcend being captured in a single photo but I try anyway because they are so awe inspiring I want to remember a sliver of the feeling I had when I saw it with my own two eyes. That’s how I felt about the hike I took this summer in the Accursed Mountains of Northern Albania (Bjeshkët e Namuna; also known as the Albanian Alps).
It was the middle of winter on one of those dead-still days in Perth when the water looks like glass and you know that getting out on the water is the best thing you could possibly do. The temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius and the water temperature is cold.