Have you ever had a photo that frustrated you with its lost potential? A picture where the image captured wasn’t the one you saw?
This photo (the one below) is one of mine. It’s too far, too bright and too exposed. It doesn’t capture the muffled sound of the surf or the silent flight of sea birds. It doesn’t hint at the rough texture of the sand or the whisper of salt in the breeze. It doesn’t show the serene splendor of the Pacific Rim.
I was ready to launch this in to the trash heap but then thought what if. What if this wasn’t a photo. What if it is was just a picture, a rendered line drawing that captured the highlights and textures. A digital editor could do that.
And so there it is. My featured photo and reclamation of a lost shot.
I took this shot at Chow Kit Market in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s part of a series on local markets where I try to capture their look and feel. I had a simple intent of showing a dry goods shop, different from the standard shots of vegetables and meat.
What caught my eye about this photo?
Originally it was the orange color of his shirt. The eye-catch which connected the passer-by to the shelves in the shop. But then the color became lines and my eye followed the network of lines within lines, the boxes within boxes. Unconsciously, my eye was drawn to the pattern within the picture, the order imposed on this chaos of small things. But then my eye grew tired of straight lines. It pulled back to follow the curves. The dark slope of the shopkeeper hunched over the counter. The blurred profile of the passer-by. The orange color of his shirt.