Let Plan B Be Art

There is something to be said for clearing one's mind with art.

I won't go into specifics and only say that lately I've been dealing with a few top-notch members of the League of Morons [thanks Burn After Reading for that phrase!] who seem to like nothing better than to waste my time. This is without a doubt my biggest pet peeve as a photographer: flaky people.

I'd been thinking about writing a 'how to' post in response to the latest Time Waster I had the displeasure of dealing with but thought better of it. Why not write about how I dealt with the situation instead?

My response to the second no-show by a couple of "collaborators" was to make the most of the time I would have otherwise spent with them if they hadn't flaked out. Fortunately, I'm already a sceptical person, pragmatic, and almost always has a Plan B ready in case of critical failure. My Plan B this time around (knowing for certain that Plan A wasn't likely to materialize) was to shoot the beach at sunset.

Some of you may know that I shoot a lot of street photography, or public photography, which may be a better term for it when there aren't any actual streets around. It's so much my passion that my default Plan B is always to shoot street photography.

Once I started walking the beach in the hot Mumbai sunshine, I kept my face downcast to avoid the glare. Then I began to spot all kinds of interesting trash in the sand. I took shots of it. Then I encountered interesting tidal marks. These too I photographed. It wasn't long until I reached the end of the journey and decided to call it quits. Back home I had a look at what I captured and immediately chose the abstract sand patterns to work with in Photoshop.

What I learned through this experience in post production was that intention was key in enhancing abstract images. That is to say, despite the randomness of the images there should be intention in how each local change is made; starting from the framing when I took the shot and perhaps some tweaking via crop. Everything else were variations on color, light, and textures.

I find myself trending on the side of trying to be more positive despite any feelings of being slighted in any of my day-to-day routines. There's something to be said about exploring an artistic side, especially in photography. For a few minutes, my mind became clear, more composed, relaxed, as I made changes to the original images I discovered in the sand.

And sometimes after such days of Plan Bs, it's best to lose one's self in another process which may not remind you of anything.

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