Saturday, April 30, 2011

Photographing the Silent Screams of Artifacts

Happy Mask, Puerto Princesa

When exploring, it’s almost instinctive to photograph the vibrant people as well as the breathtaking places. But how about the artifacts - those objects that will remind you that you’ve been there and actually at one point touched them?

Katigbak residence, Lipa Batangas

Madonna and Child Fresco, Katigbak residence, Lipa Batangas
Your exploration will never be complete if you denied yourself the experience of doing justice to those items that are screaming to be photographed! Just imagine if you decided not to give a beautiful yet delicate, antique jar a second look only to regret because on your return the artifact has already crumbled to pieces. That’s too bad.

So what’s so interesting about artifacts? It’s really what you see in the object that will trigger you to shoot. 

Door detail, Lipa Cathedral
Details of a wall painting, Grand Palace, Thailand
That could be from the intricate design and texture to how the light and shadow kiss the object. 
Capiz lamp shades, Puerto Princesa
Of course, you still need to seriously consider the rule of thirds otherwise you might end up with a catalog photo – definitely boring. 

Dream catcher, Puerto Princesa

If the artifact that you’re planning to shoot will look uninteresting in its whole, why don’t you just pick a portion of it and frame that part that will create a dynamic look? 

Chair wood carving, Puerto Princesa

Souvenir glass jarlets, D'Mall Boracay
Sometimes artifacts will present to you an image when you look at them from an angle. That’s why it’s always a good practice to scan your subject for hidden patterns, being patient in the process and lo and behold an image revealed! 

Seat handle wood carving, Puerto Princesa

Snake head-looking driftwood, Puerto Princesa
As you go from one destination to the next, artifacts will always be there - silently calling your attention, asking you to preserve them in time.
Door detail, Lipa Cathedral

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