Jul 16, 2011

An Image For Every Minute Of the Day.

There are 1440 minutes in a day.

In these minutes photographers capture a moment.

These moments make up a day.

These words were on my  mind (and on a flyer) this morning as I got ready for a day of photography in the Sydney CBD as a participant in The Sydney Morning Herald's 1440 Photo Challenge.  Over the 1440 minutes of Saturday July 16 2011, readers of the SMH were invited to follow a brief set out by the paper and sponsor Foto Riesel as they roamed the streets of the CBD pondering light, angles and camera settings.

I wasn't sure how long it would take me to find my images so I made sure my trusty back pack was well stocked with snacks.

That Ikea thermos from last year is still going strong.

There's no point being well fed on a photojournalistic assignment if you don't look the part.  I don't know if this is actually part of the selection criteria for news team photographers but it sounds good to me.

Jeans - Seven for All Mankind, skivvy - Target, vest - Ralph Lauren, belt - Gap.

So I got out my puffer vest and sturdy waterproof hiking shoes.  Summoning a little artistic energy wouldn't have gone astray either so I slipped on a black skivvy and a knitted cap.  Too cold today for berets, you see.

I'm sure my forehead was looking more artistic today, thanks to my knitted cap from Cotton On.
Strapped into my backpack and zipped into my puffer vest, I hit the road with a bounce in my step and a thoughtful, artsy look on my face.  I really do think hiking shoes and jaunty head gear are the way to go when you've a long day in the city.

Wouldn't you know it, the skies cleared for us today!  There was some fog early but that cleared up and we were left with a few clouds here and there which made for some interest in the lighting for street photography.

The meeting point for the challenge was on Kent Street.  After registering, we were given our brief for the day.  There were also seminars throughout the day at The State Library of NSW where senior photojournalists with the SMH discussed their work, inspiration and technique.  They had so many intriguing stories to share and I realized that it's not just words that are humanity's tool of expression and communication, our photographs tell just as many stories, if not more as they are so much more immediate than prose.

The brief required us to provide our best image for each of the following themes - public transport, red and city living.  I will heed the words of one photojournalist who said today that he took the best photos he could and then worked them back to the brief.  He also said that what he liked best about photography competitions was the fun of entering.  I'm taking that on board as well.  There were many people with hard core equipment and a solid understanding of light balance and composition present today and I can honestly say I was not one of them.  Whatever happens today, it's got to be fun first.

It's actually pretty difficult trying to take photographs with someone else's requirements constantly in the back of your mind.  But the challenge did make me look around my adopted city with keener eyes.  Another thing I had to get used to was how difficult it is to take a photo of without your frame being invaded by the traffic of the city.

Are you suprised that I got distracted by the shops as I worked.  The Louboutin store does have red carpet though.

Photos in a dynamic environment are always a compromise for me.  All sorts of things seem to obstruct the structure I'm trying to capture.

Red objects seem to be more vibrant in the grey light of winter.  As I was looking for red today, finding unexpected bursts of it in front of me did help to shake off some of the winter blues the recent weather has given me.

Life in the city is a partnership between nature and construction.  As humans, we've shaped the world around us to our needs and desires.  We need sustenence so we build cafes in our buildings.  We need exercise so we incorporate cycle ways on the roads.

We need open spaces inside our concrete jungles.

Where we can reflect and contemplate.

I'd better get going.  I need to work out which photos I'm going to enter in the challenge.  Because of this contest, there's going to be an image for every minute of today in Sydney and I'm looking forward to seeing all the entries online.

Have a lovely evening and talk to you soon!


  1. The puffer vest is very photog-like. You got the uniform down pat.

  2. "it's not just words that are humanity's tool of expression and communication, our photographs tell just as many stories, if not more as they are so much more immediate than prose"

    So true! Great photos and what a fantastic competition and fun thing to do!

  3. Mademoiselle S: thank you :-)

    Veshoevius: photos are so powerful, I hope our society never forgets this.

    SSG xxx

  4. what a lovely day to spend a Saturday in the city - I would love doing this, but didn't hear about it until now!

  5. What a cool idea for a competition (or just to get to know more about your adopted city - a point I can relate to!). I love the shot of the Sydney Tower and of the two bicycles parked next to the No Stopping sign.

    PS: I so agree on the importance of looking the part!

  6. Fantastic project and you are looking right in the groove.


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