As you may or may not know, I've recently started trying my hand at photography. I have no previous experience, or up until a matter of months ago, no real interest in it either. I'm really enjoying the challenge of learning something new and indeed creative. To cut a long story short, I'm hooked.
Me being the type of person I am, learning wasn't enough in its own right. I wanted to throw myself in the deep end, just to see what would happen. The Photos 1440 Challenge , an annual event run by the Sydney Morning Herald , was going to be my testing ground. So after registering as an entrant, I received the brief.
"We have created an assignment where we want you to really think about one of the fundamental elements of photography.... LIGHT."
The topic was entirely up to you, as to what you wanted your photo essay to be about, and it required between 4 - 7 photos. The topic I chose to do my essay on was:
Surveillance - The Urban Inner City Environment.
Although this is the photo I like the least, I felt the need to use it, and for it to be the first in my essay. I needed it to set the tone and make it clear as to what direction I was going with it. Cameras are everywhere nowadays, and we're forever being reminded that WE are being watched around the clock, whether we like it or not.
This is probably one of my favorite photos to date. It also brings me to my next point. You don't even have to be doing anything wrong in order to be seen. People in everyday life, doing everyday things and going about their business are being watched. I thought the first two photos summed up a lot of things about today's society, in my opinion.
Yet again, more reminders. Most of my photos were taken while the rest of the city was fast asleep. I really like the peacefulness of being out and about late at night. Ridiculously late at night!
In being out so late, I found a humorous side to what I was doing. The more I was out and the longer I was shooting, You would see randomness you couldn't help but laugh at, which in turn, would lead me to take a shot of things I felt needed to be shared. Although we're watched over in great detail, there's still pots of gold without the corny rainbow to be seen and immortalized with a photo.
Bless you SOFA, your timing's impeccable.
Nothing is immune from having a watchful eye of some sort. Buildings, playgrounds, schools, train stations and other various structures, all announcing the fact that "Big Brother" is watching you 24 hours a day.
The amount of damage to the things that were "under surveillance", was actually quite ridiculous, and funny (well, to me it is) that these things can happen under the nose of someone charged with a duty to watch over said building or structure. Go figure.
This was also another one of my personal favorites. It was about 4:30 - 5am. It was cold, raining and ridiculously foggy, but I just enjoyed being out.
Most of the shots I took are within walking distance of my house. I thought I had more than enough around me to get my point across and also make an interesting photo essay. I never felt the need to go and find the corny sunrise / sunset, or obligatory beach shots, smiling people, or public events.
I wanted the gritty look and feel to what I was doing. I wanted to
take photos of things that resonated with me, from a point of view that I
find interesting. If I was trying to sell you a "Sydney Is Awesome,
Please Visit" kind of approach, I would've taken shots of things in accordance with that.
But that's just not me, nor is it my style.
All in all, I enjoyed the experience of photojournalism. For me personally, I found it a great way to learn and also push myself. I've got a lot to work on and look forward to entering any other competitions that are out there as a way to hone my skills, including Photos1440 challenge next year.
Until then, I have other photos of my own you can check out on Flickr.
Well done to everyone who entered. If you were an entrant, that just so happens to read this, feel free to leave a link for me to look at your work. Always interested to see what others had done.
Be sure to check out the winners gallery here.
All images and content © JDHQ 2013