During every assignment, I try to allocate about five percent of my creative energy to stepping outside my comfort zone – and the pictures I capture for a living – to produce photographs I like personally; images that lean more towards fine art than commercial travel and tourism photography.
Often, it sees me producing black and white pictures which I enjoy shooting because I need to focus differently on composition and I’m not being distracted by colour. In such pictures, I am learning that simplicity can be a powerful tool. And, of course, I’m particularly excited by the opportunity to shoot traditional culture. I love making – as opposed to taking – sensual pictures that celebrate femininity or masculinity; pictures that go beyond just recording what’s been put in front of me, to images that elicit an emotion, capture a mood or subtly differentiate a culture. In the environments I shoot – subjects aside – it can be quite a challenge.
It’s with this theme in mind that I’m now wandering 15 South Pacific and Micronesian countries looking to capture – among the thousands of tourism images I’ll shoot for the project for which I’ve been commissioned – at least one image in each destination which will become part of the Sensual Islands Exhibition I’ll mount to promote the beauty of island culture. Hopefully, the exhibition itself will go some way towards promoting the countries I’m visiting.
This photograph (below) is an example of the type of imagery I’ll include in the exhibition. I captured it yesterday in Pohnpei during the closing minutes of the waterfall shoot which I wrote about in the preceding entry.