Exposure

I started out, as most of us do, being overly preoccupied with sharpness and focus. Of course, there’s a place for sharpness and focus and some compositions require them more than others. But there is also lots of scope for playing with them and sometimes leaving them behind. This is true even for documentary photography, where selective focus and graininess can produce amazing results.

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Sofia dares us to show how we play with exposure in order to create mood, movement, and emotion. I have selected a few photos shot a few days back, in Brussels, at a procession organized for Dia de Muertos. I remember following the same procession three years ago, before the Covid pandemic.

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The Call of the Mountains

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Amy, is all about mountains.

In the mountains, I’ve felt at peace, exhilarated, grateful, exhausted, scared, lost. I walked endless trails that took me way out of my comfort zone. I found myself up on the mountain, in the wild, as it was getting dark, wondering how will I make it back down. I found myself in danger (just because I’ve put myself in danger) and felt my life hanging on a thread. I found myself so incredibly at peace with everything out there, me included. I felt that I belong.

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Tender is the night

I suddenly woke up as if an alarm was going off somewhere. A high-pitched noise drilling holes into the fabric of reality. But there is nothing. The silence is complete, definitive, almost painful.

I dreamt of you. Again. You were looking at me with that look of calm detachment. Not even disappointment. Not even resentment. Just coldness, as if you were looking through me, beyond me, to whatever else was there once I was out of the picture.

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Single Photo Stories: Autumn Sun

There’s something discreetly glorious in this lazy October sunset.

Backlit fallen leaves and mushrooms. The almost imperceptible breeze. The buzz of insects slowly rising through the forest like a mist.

I am sitting in a small forest clearing with the sun on my face. There’s nothing I can add to the scene, nothing that can be improved. I am only witnessing the moment.

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Rainy night

It rains over the city like a curtain falling after a big show.

Contours are blurred out. Light trails lit up the night. Colors dissolve into one another. Hurried silhouettes pass by.

Summer is gone. The irreversibility of this simple fact is now made concrete, almost painfully tangible. There’s no going back to that part of life, with all its good and bad.

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Borders

There are borders that are meant to keep people in. They prevent people from traveling to see how life looks on the other side. When you see something different, you compare and evaluate. Terms of comparison are threatening for regimes that are built on delusions of grandeur and uniqueness: “Why would you even want to go out? This is the best place to be anyway!”

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Triptych

Since Sarah (from Travel with me) invited us to share three of our favorite photos, I thought about what I would choose and, more broadly, about how we relate critically to our own work.

The photos that tend to stay with me are those that tell a story that’s meaningful to me. Those that reconnect me to that past moment when I took the photo, but also to the story, emotion, mood, or idea that stayed with me over time. Although I tend to overthink and over-intellectualize in other parts of my life, when it comes to photography I go with the gut. I know (or feel) that some compositions make sense long before I start analyzing them.

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