Taken at Vancouver International Airport before a two week trip to Tokyo and Hong Kong. An inspired but seemingly throwaway photo…
In days gone by my camera was simply a way to capture what my eye saw on occasion getting a glimpse into how I felt that was enough. Photos taken, memories captured, stored away as though they were in a box now collecting dust in the basement. With the rejuvenated interest in photography I came across an article that’s main theme was to let your photos tell a story. Think about about the story and the feeling and then capture the photo. 900 photos later and it was clear that there were a lot of stories. It was then a matter of going through them and picking out the good ones..Wait what?
Yea it never seems to amaze me that as much as I want to tell a story with each picture my old habits return and the 900 photos is filled with a plethora of random photos of things that may have had an instantaneous reaction and honestly don’t look that great. Oh and there are the generous handful that are blurry / poorly composed / etc. It occurred to me though that if I really think about the photos there is a story to tell.
This was a throwaway. A picture of the gate sign at the Vancouver Airport. Full of good intentions. The excitement of a huge trip, a new culture, people, and all of the amazing things Tokyo and Hong Kong have to offer. The idea was to at some points just capture what was going on because they were a part of the story. Here we were at the gate ready to leave!
Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like. – David Alan Harvey
The photo was disappointing. The composition wasn’t exciting and contained most of the gate itself with the sign. Looking back I wasn’t out there snapping the gate as though this was going to be a story or how I felt; it was habitual. It occurred to me though while I was flipping through the photos that we shouldn’t be so quick to toss out the ones that perhaps don’t immediately stand out. The story is there…So what if a bit of time is spent adjusting and focusing in on those images and really getting to the heart of them. Perhaps they still are a throwaway. Would I gladly print this off and frame it? Probably not but focusing on the gate sign, cleaning out some of the clutter that was originally there and suddenly it stands out again. The story re-emerges and the photo feels more alive.
The original image was faded / cluttered and didn’t stand out. It’s now focused on the gate sign and more focused and clear on what was important. The energy is back. Tokyo beckons; the weather is much nicer than what we left; the anticipation of boarding the plane is there (an hour away) and above all leaving the comforts of our home to travel and see pieces of the world as we can. There it is. That excitement again. The photo holds it but I just needed to dig a little deeper.
Perhaps there are treasure troves in all of the photos we may toss away and then again maybe not. This is something I’d love to connect with other photographers on and find out stories about image collections and really how many photos do people take / throw out / re-visit.