Not to click decisions

There was a time when I clicked at everything that came my way with the exuberance of a boy with a new toy at hand. After a while and four 16 gb cards, I became very choosy about which images to release and which ones to delete. Then it became which ones to click and which ones not to click. A move from garbage collection before release to garbage collection at source, resulting in tremendous amount of savings of effort. What is the key trigger for this movement?. I will attribute it to mastery over photography. Capturing an image perfectly became a no brainer over a period of time, and that challenge was replaced by the ability to spot an opportunity to capture a great image. Today even though I had the camera with me, I did not click at anything because nothing impressive came my way. And I feel good about it. I see it as signs of maturity. Once you have a reputation to loose, then the not to click decisions are very important, else you will create gigabytes of mediocre stuff.

The project management wisdom says that projects fail at the beginning, not at the end. This is very true. Either we say yes to the projects where we do not have the skill sets, or we start projects which do not have a solid business case…the reasons could be many, and the fate of the project is always decided very early. Same is the case with a photograph as well. So the not to click decisions are as important as your click decisions, because you have a reputation to loose.

Here is a photograph which I clicked with full conviction…using my canon 550d

20130902-223832.jpg

Casual to ‘no compromise’

A casual approach to work will never result in exemplary outcomes. This is very true in photography. Like the Mobile phone or internet addictions, I have reached a stage where if I do not have access to a camera, then I get restless. Is it because I missed out some great opportunities to click, because I did not have a camera with me?, no, never, I am unable to recollect even one incident to justify it. It is just an anxiety of missing out some potentially great opportunity, which may or may not arise. My experience shows that unless one puts in one hundred percentage into a photograph, it is going to be mediocre. A casual approach to serious photography will not work. Here was a great opportunity, which gave me mediocre results because of my casual approach to photography.

We were driving on the suburban roads of kochi city to avoid the peak hour traffic jams on the main road. We drove into this beautiful view of the sunset behind a fertiliser factory polluting the whole area. In the fore ground there were vehicles plying, so it was a great opportunity for a slow shutter speed photograph, with red and white streams of light in the foreground, followed by the factory and it’s chimneys, and the red sunset in the background. At that moment, I did not want to mount the camera on the tripod, and ended up with a hand held shot, resulting in this mediocre outcome. I will be going there again, to get that perfect shot. One great lesson for me is, if you have to cross the boarder between amateurism and professionalism, then one has to get out of the casual approach to a no compromise approach, else, the end product will be inferior. This fact is applicable to all spheres of professional work.

20130828-115429.jpg

Best is yet to happen, the best survival kit

Whenever I see the photographs I clicked in the past, I realise the poor quality of some of my so called ‘best’ photographs of the past. Either the composition is not right, or they are cluttered, or edited too much.. Then, it was continuous learning, and I certainly believe that the best is yet to happen. Thanks to all the youtube videos on photography. my sincere thanks to all those experienced photographers who shared their experiences in the public domain, which made the life of people like me easier. This is very true in management as well. I just want to apologise to the participants of the first batch of my project management workshop that happened in Dubai around eight years back. It was just reading from the slides. It was miserable. Since then I have come a long way because I was willing to continuously learn and improve. So, definitely failures are stepping stones to success, and what you think as a success story today, looses it’s glitter the moment either you or someone else do something better. The best is yet to happen is the driving force behind anyone who chases excellence, and that is the best survival kit in highly competitive environments. All good photographers, speakers, bloggers and writers are reminders to me about the distance I have to cover, before I say I did something worthwhile.

Here is a photograph using lumix fz200. I named it stepping stones. Hope you are enjoying. Wish you a happy weekend.

20130818-103127.jpg

Art of lifting

‘Teamwork’ is the word that came to my mind when I composed this one. Teamwork of the individually competent, where the cumulative effect is much more higher than the sum of the individual efforts. How can we get this kind of commitment at the work place?. Is the challenge by itself is the motivator?.

20130817-081832.jpg

Streetphotography at kochi, Kerala, India. Lumix fz200, sepia creative mode

Leave your mark on it…

During the early days of my photography, I used to to give maximum attention to the main subject in focus. But these days, I give equal weightage for the main subject and the background. Before uploading a photo for the public to view, I remove all the dirt from the photograph. This has considerably improved my photographs, and now I release my photograph with my signature on it. Yes, I started taking pride in my photographs. Is this not same with whatever we do?. One of the key agile values is commitment to work, and when we say something is done, it is of shippable quality. Only someone who takes pride in what he does, can apply his signature to his work. Here is my first photograph with a copy right mark. I own it. It may not be the ultimate. I will definitely capture better photographs in the future, and at the same time, I take pride in this photograph, hence it carries my name along with it, to all the viewers who may see and enjoy it, in the coming days…. Start taking tremendous pride in what you do. Love your work. Leave your mark on it.

20130812-222432.jpg