Setting out without an itinerary to Varkala led me to discover how spontaneity is a trick every photographer should have up their sleeve. We started out on a tiring overnight drive on a whim, never knowing just how great the stay was going to be. This delightful trip taught me that you can make the most of a place without any homework and I held on to this learning whenever I found myself in a fix later on. In hindsight, it’s often that when things went “wrong” was when I stumbled onto the right place at the right time. Extending that learning to photography has made a marked difference for me as a novice photographer. Being able to constantly improvise and pay attention in spite of being in unpredictable situations has turned into a boon for me.
A ticketless journey led me to catch a little bit of weather over the Rock Beach, Pondicherry.
A startling view of Thimphu, Bhutan at twilight only because of a delay in permit issuance.
A long sought postcard like sunset at the Kudle Beach, Gokarna made up for a missed ferry ride.
“Improvise. Adapt. Overcome” – Clint Eastwood
As photographers, whatever the subject we shoot – places, people, wildlife or events, umpteen things may go wrong – lighting, weather, delays or the timing, and the shoot might not go according to how it had played out in our head. Nevertheless, keeping our composure and being able to think on one’s feet is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary. Even though they may appear to be chance encounters, I believe they became what they are only because I held out an open door.
Obvious hacks often overlooked
- Battery bailing you in cold weather? – Rub it in your palms or warm it in your jacket pocket.
- Feeling Shy? – Just ask. Many a times people love being clicked. Worst case, you need only apologize.
- Not Carrying a Tripod? – Scout for places to prop your camera and capture the low light shot you envisioned.
- Unhappy with your pictures? – Resist the urge to review and delete them immediately. You lose battery life and probably your next big picture.
- A lot of water around? – Let go of the fear to keep your camera safe. Use a plastic wrap and hit that Holi party.
- Flash too Flashy? – A lot of everyday objects act as makeshift diffusers. One only has to look.
- Can’t buy all lenses? – Somebody is always willing to lend and waiting to be asked.
Go on. Share a pro tip with us below.
Many of us pass up opportunities because we get caught up in our own head. Here’s a shout out to all those who photograph – amateur or professional, have an open mind, be open to change and who knows when you might seize the moment with your chance encounter.