Seeking beauty in the mundane

Taking photographs can occasionally feel like a competition to find the most amazing subject matter, whether it be the largest, smallest, fastest, most well known etc. So sometimes it can be a very cathartic process to look for the beauty in the everyday, we forget how wonderful and intriguing our everyday life is.

Hotel, Dublin 2015 ©Andrew Perkins

Today I enjoy making photographs of those subjects that in the past I may have overlooked. Learning to look at the familiar with a totally new eye. It can be light, colour, shade, composition or a combination of all that takes my interest. Sometimes it can take some searching to find that satisfying image other times it just reaches out, smacks you round the face and insists on being photographed.

Office Block, Zurich 2016 ©Andrew Perkins

Elliot Erwitt summed it up very well when he said – “Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them”

Learning to look and discovering your way of seeing is a massively important thing in being a photographer. For me this process of pairing things down to the minimum, learning to look for light and colour, working on composition, making lots of mistakes along the way and understanding why they were mistakes is all part of that ongoing process.

Southwold, UK 2016 ©Andrew Perkins

In 2010 I really started to concentrate on Street Photography. Going out with just a camera and one lens, unencumbered with all the paraphernalia usually involved in a photoshoot, was incredibly liberating. Having to work with what I had in front of me made me look so much harder and consequently see so much more.

And one final quote:

“Photography is about observing. The world is wonderful, go and record it – record what you find wonderful and hope that someone else is going to like it” – David Hurn, Magnum Photographer

Rooftop swimming pool, Lisbon, 2014 ©Andrew Perkins

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