Uncle Dave’s Photo Club…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s interesting fish names are: the antenna codlet, the celebes rainbow fish, the fire bar danio, the mouthbrooder, and the requiem shark.
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Good evening everyone, and welcome to Uncle Dave’s Photo Club.
Er, Billy, please stop zooming your big expensive telephoto lens in and out like that – you are not being at all amusing – just pop it back in its pouch please – thank you. Now, this evening’s session… Hang on! Do I hear someone’s shutter clicking away? Whomever that is, please desist!…
This evening I am going to pose the pithy question – what is the difference between a photograph of something interesting, and, an interesting photograph? No, Lionel, it doesn’t require an answer – it’s a rhetorical question, for me to build upon as I progress. Sandra, did you just yawn into your cupped hand?… Hm…
You see, lots of people, lots of photographers, fall into the trap, when they come across something which they find visually interesting, of thinking – Aha! I’ll take a picture of this interesting thing – it will make an interesting photograph – people will warm to it and they will appreciate my cleverness… Pablo, are you listening? You could learn something useful here!
You see, something which you might find interesting, as you perhaps walk down to the shops to buy a carton of milk – for example, a glorious sunset boiling up in the sky that takes your breath away with its majesty – might be very interesting at the time, but won’t look that impressive in a photo later on. People have seen lots and lots of badly composed pictures of sunsets on friend’s phones and on dreary social media sites – even if these pictures were well composed it wouldn’t make that much difference. Please don’t put your hand up Lionel, if you need to go to the toilet just slip out quietly, and try not to kick too many chairs over as you go.
Now, suppose, on your way to the shops for your milk, you pause to get your camera out to snap your sunset, then you notice, sitting on the top of a low wall, an old skinny black dog with its nose up howling into the evening sky, or a silhouetted cat, stretching and arching its back, or an abandoned ornate gold-effect antique table lamp with a badly dented shade standing there – you could get any one of these things nicely in focus in the corner of your frame, and have that glorious sky filling the rest of the composition. Now, you see, that would be some picture! A picture that has so much more to offer than just another bloody sunset. It’s almost a narrative, cause and effect, people do like that sort of thing – no, really, they do! You catch my drift? Thank you Lionel, oh, and welcome back – you were very quick – did you change your mind?
Yes, Sandra, you are right, if you don’t happen to spot a scruffy dog, an arching cat, or a busted table lamp… Yes, that’s it! You don’t take the picture!
The great idea is that you train yourself to go around, always on the lookout for… No Lionel, not dogs, cats, and lamps – but other visual oddities, disparate things, serendipitous juxtapositions of things, that might intrigue, or amuse the eventual viewer of your work. Did that loud yawning sound just issue from you Sandra?…
Sometimes you can produce an interesting and arresting image from the most mundane of things. I see that you have your big lens out again Billy… Thank you! I don’t think we need see it again. Yes, a pretty mundane thing which might just have something about it – an interesting shape, or colour – for instance, a broken-off tree stump that looks not unlike an aerial shot of New York complete with its skyscrapers – or a an old bit of wood with bolts going through it that look like owl eyes. Yes Sandra, owl eyes… Oh, are you off now? Well thanks for at least turning up… To conclude then – always keep your eyes open for interesting compositions – and always have your camera with you! Billy, do you have your big lens with you all the time? Hm, I thought not, it’s a bit too heavy eh?

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in academia, art, brain, composition, creation, humour, information, instruction, learning, photography, seeing, serendipity, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Uncle Dave’s Photo Club…

  1. ktz2 says:

    hahaha… as usual I love your droll narration of trying to keep the focus of
    the unruly dullards. I’ve never written the word dullard before now; it’s an old fashioned word

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