People often ask how I got interested in photography and I tell them about a series of chance happenings that lead to me being in front of a camera shop at a time when I had a bit of money to spare and I tell them about going walks and taking my camera along. In reality this was how I started to take a few photographs but I can pinpoint the change from just snapping away to actually wanting to create images to one defining moment, to one chance visit to a gallery on holiday.
We were on holiday in Whitby one summer, not sure if it was 2008 or 2009 but we happened to wander into a gallery that sold a bit of photography. Looking at the pictures I realised that there was one thing that set them apart from mine and that was that they weren’t the obvious views that everyone would take, they might be from a different standpoint or an unusual angle or maybe they were or something that you might walk past and not notice but the reality was they were different and less obvious.
Now in truth there was really a lot more that set those gallery images apart from my snapshots with my compact but I knew the rest of it was either technical or equipment related and that could be learned or saved up for – but the seeing, that’s a whole different thing. And that would be the one tip I would give to anyone wanting to improve, teach yourself to see differently.
If you are going somewhere new take the obvious shots, those are the ones that make your memories, but then look for the less obvious.
I often visit Salford Quays and have photographed it countless times, above is an obvious image that everyone takes (albeit it looks a little different because its taken on a Lensbaby) but then I love to wander and look for something different – its the only way to keep inspired in places you’ve been before !
(All images ©J Broughton Photography http://www.jbroughton.co.uk.)