April 28th, 2013 - 04:56 AM
Last week i was in Trieste, where i checked in to a railway museum. My idea that i would get some interesting shots by investing some time into history opened a huge barn door of creative opportunites.
The annoying thing about discovering new things, is that it was not new at all. I have walked past this place in Trieste many times, but have never "seen" it. I just happened to look over this wall (my nosey nature) and there she was, a beautiful, nicely preserved railway station, bursting with magnificent yet derelict steam locomotives...perfect.
The good thing about investigating old and derelict places like this museum in Trieste, is you get closer to some things that normally you would have to keep a safe distance from. Everyone has seen a steam engine from a distance and thought nothing of it, but when you are stood right next to one of these beautiful monsters, the sheer size of them is impressive.
The bad part of going around derelict places is safety. Some of these places can be a danger, with rotting floors, collapsing ceilings, so watch where you putting your feet, take a cell phone with you and best (if you can) get permission.
Your subject doesn't have to be beautiful to make an impact. You can turn something ugly and uninteresting into something else by concentrating on details. Turn an object into an abstract and exaggerate with black and white or PS.
Some derelict buildings used to be beautiful in their own right when they were operational, like Art Deco buildings with spiral stairways, yet most people just walk by every day without a second thought.
However, you are not "most people" you are a photographer and artist. Just because you don't make a fortune at photography, doesn't mean that you won't make a buck one day...i mean look at me, i started with nothing AND have managed to hang on to most of it.
Once you are inside a derelict building, get the overall atmosphere and size of the place and head for details with a flashlight, cobwebs are the usual stuff, but go for architectural details too with ceilings, windows, doors, handles and abandoned furniture. Take a pod for some long exposures. Bracket your exposures for some HDR images later...all been done before i know, BUT hey-ho HDR images sell. A wide angle lens is a must also.
Many scrap yards have some beautiful examples to capture and are easy to access, especially if you give the owner "dodgy Bob" a couple of bucks for a beer. If you have an interest in cars anyway, this will be a natural subject for you.
Old barns are my favourite places. Hard to imagine some of the things just lying around farm yards were once someone's pride and joy, used every day, then one day something happened and that tractor just got abandoned and forgotten.
Another thing that struck my thoughts is that one mans rubbish is another mans joy, i should have made an offer to buy this tractor, then sell it on ebay....dream on.
This does not mean that it will be there for ever, so this is your opportunity to record some history. Find out some history about the building, landmark or car you are photographing. Having an intimate knowledge of the subject will reflect in your images for sure. This information could mean a twist in the story or headline of your image.
Make it personal with whatever your interests are. There will be beautiful things that you walk past every day, but you won't see them until one day you will "see" it. Finding your niche with photography is THE key to your success. Focusing on something you are knowledgable about will make your niche easier to work with and it's usually right under your nose.
When you create something beautiful and inspiring out of an "ugly Betty", it inspires your creativity. You can make something humerous out of using these two opposites, or you can use a classical approach and one day discover a niche.
As we are approaching the end of funny month, i declare this day 25th April 2013 National Fart Day (NFD). Today, you can part with your fart, parp with your harp to your hearts content and if someone objects, just tell 'em pixsellpix says it's cool to be an NFD aficionado for today. The same will apply for tomorrow and the day after that and so on.
PIXSELLPIX...YOU NEVER STOP LEARNING
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From now at Fine Art America