Finding symmetry and connection in photos - Laneways tour 15 August.

Saturdays laneways tour started on a cool overcast morning with a few cracks of blue trying to squeeze through, a group of people were making preparations on the steps of the State library (our meet up point) for a marriage equality protest due to take place later that day. I noted on my way to our meet up spot that a large part of Little Bourke st in China town was blocked off as well as some lanes, so I adjusted that mornings tour accordingly. There's always something going on in the lanes and little streets, often public works are competing with artworks.

One of the things I like to do with the group before we head off into the lanes is to set a small challenge, I tell them to look for symmetry between things when framing an image, look for visual connections in a particular scene whether that be static objects or people, find the balance. In some quarters this is referred to as the rule of thirds, I don't subscribe to this method of dividing up a scene, it's too prescriptive. I believe you have to practice on an instinctive level until it becomes second nature to look beyond the obvious sometimes to the more subliminal elements, ask yourself, is there some kind of connection here? It might be shape, colour, scale or where someone is standing in relation to you and another subject, the scenarios are endless. Don't settle for the first view point, move around in an arc, go in closer or step back and then within your viewfinder compose the shot look for the balance and symmetry, then take the photo. With practice and patience you'll get better at seeing and in turn your photography will improve, and more and more you will see things where once you would have moved on thinking not much was there worth photographing.

Now having said all that, sometimes symmetry is not found within in a single frame but is discovered in a single lane, you can always rely on an artist to cut to the truth of the matter.  I took the last two images in this blog in Hosier lane, by luck a shaft of light was reflecting from somewhere up high onto the poster, the subject matter is always topical, perhaps a little more so lately.

Happy shooting!

Jaime

Hosier Ln

Hosier Ln

Hosier Ln.    Exposing for the highlights

Hosier Ln.    Exposing for the highlights

PILGRIMAGE - El Camino de Santiago

El Camino de Santiago – the Way of St James – is an historic pilgrimage trail

through north-western Spain. Once a Roman trade route, “ for over a thousand years it has attracted travellers from around the world who come to walk, reflect, find like-minded companions.”

Why in our secular age are so many people captivated by this medieval Christian pilgrimage? Over 200,000 people walked the Camino in 2013; nearly half were Spanish, followed by German, Italian, Portuguese, French, US, Ireland, UK, Holland, Canada, Korea.

Perhaps it's because in our busy modern lives, more than ever, we need escape valves like the pilgrimage, a chance to empty the hard drive and refresh the spirit, eight hundred kilometers, just you and the road, a crash course in life. 

These are some of the questions and themes I've been exploring with this project, I am now in the process of approaching publishers with a proposal to produce a photographic book on the Camino.

You can view more photos and regular updates at:  facebook.com/thepilgrimsway

Confession, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Confession, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

Storm approaching, Jesus leaving Fancebadon

Storm approaching, Jesus leaving Fancebadon

Hospice of San Nicolas, 12th c. Restored and run by the Italian confraternita Jacopo di Compostela di Perugia, located near the village of Itero de la vega. Only 12 beds, no power no running water, dinner by candle light- magical!  

Hospice of San Nicolas, 12th c. Restored and run by the Italian confraternita Jacopo di Compostela di Perugia, located near the village of Itero de la vega.
Only 12 beds, no power no running water, dinner by candle light- magical!
 

Solitary figure of a pilgrim leaving the city of Burgos early morning beside the 13th century Burgos Cathedral.

Solitary figure of a pilgrim leaving the city of Burgos early morning beside the 13th century Burgos Cathedral.

ULURU CHIILDREN'S HOME - INDIA

The Uluru Children’s home near the village of Kadapakkam in South India cares for a particularly vulnerable group of girls in the Indian community. Since 2003, the Home has housed about 30, mainly rural girls who have been orphaned or abandoned by destitute parents, at the home they are given the essentials of food, clothing and shelter – all in a safe and caring environment. The girls are given a permanent home and a whole new direction for the rest of their lives, but more importantly, they have access to health care and education, which are crucial in giving them life prospects they would otherwise be denied.

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Little Big Town project and book.

Little Big Town : is a photographic exploration of the laneways and little streets of Melbourne’s CBD, ‘the village within the city’.  LBT is an ongoing project photographed over 3 years, recording daily life in the many little streets and laneways, documenting the transformation of these locations from neglected back waters to diverse and vibrant environments.  Little Big Town project is now a book published by The Five Mile Press in November 2014 and is available in bookshops or online 

 

Meyers Place, Melbourne CBD.

Croft Alley. Chef taking a smoko break watches club goers on their way to The Croft Institute, a bar and nightclub tucked down a winding Chinatown alley

Croft Alley. Chef taking a smoko break watches club goers on their way to The Croft Institute, a bar and nightclub tucked down a winding Chinatown alley

Little Collins Street and Royal Arcade, evening at the Caffe e Torta.

Little Collins Street and Royal Arcade, evening at the Caffe e Torta.

Little Lonsdale Street. People-watching in Chocolateria San Churro.

Little Lonsdale Street. People-watching in Chocolateria San Churro.

Spark Lane. A view Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Spark Lane. A view Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.

Flinders Lane.

Flinders Lane.