Feeling it out

Photography, for me, is a hobby. I don’t have hours to spend travelling just to take photos, so I take what I can get. It’s a kind of creative restraint that I try to get some decent shots in the down time whenever I go to a new place. Luckily, my camera is tiny and I kind of just have it with me all the time.

This weekend I took a train into London to meet up with my girlfriend who had just finished an event. The plan was to go out for breakfast and take the train back. Since her event finished at 7AM, I had to be there on the first available train. Being an early bird, this was no problem. I arrived at my station about an hour early.

And then it started to pour rain.

Soaked from top to bottom, I managed to get into the cover of an awning and wait for the next train, a half an hour later. It was a perfect time to get some shots.

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I had no idea what this would turn out like when I took it. I knew I wanted to be in the middle of the tracks, which is fairly easy since there’s a covered bridge over them, but I’d be lying if I said I knew it would look as eerie as it does now. It wasn’t until I brought it into rawtherapee and brought the blacks up and fiddled with the white balance that I realize I had a shot that actually had some…atmosphere to it. This was a bit of a eureka moment for me, as up until now I had just been trying to get my shots to be somewhere near decent on a technical level. Is it a perfect shot? Certainly not, but it’s got something which I hadn’t even realized I was trying to get, which is a sense of atmosphere and emotional connection.

Most of my shots look like this.

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Which is just…why? What’s this saying? What’s the mood? Oh, it’s a nice sunny day..  Wow. There are some nice lines.. Almost anyone could walk out their door and take a shot like this. It’s boring.

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This is a shot from the reverse perspective. Train tracks are cool, there’s some blue stuff. Whatever. This sucks.

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This is a shot of that camera in the bottom right of the last picture, shot through a bit of fence. I really like this picture, but I had no idea I would at time. I do find CCTV cameras a bit creepy, and all the fences and security measures in this country can be a bit cold and impersonal at times, but I definitely wasn’t thinking that when I shot this. It was only upon editing it – with very little I might add- that I realized it looked like a still frame from a dystopian film.

These are the kind of shots I want to take. Ones that express a feeling, a mood, or a story. This is kind of hard to do. I don’t even know if it’s worth focusing on taking shots like this, and explaining what you like about them makes you sound like a douche. But, here we are. There’s no guarantee that it’ll have the same meaning or message to anyone else, but at very least I find it satisfying to make something that clicks with me.

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