Late last week, I was asked to write a travel piece on Singapore for an interiors/lifestyle magazine, and supply a few photos from my collection. I managed the article, but none of my photos fitted the bill. This after shooting over 500 photos. “What the hell did I click?”, I wondered. I was there for one whole week, during the Chinese New Year Festival, and all I had to show for my efforts were shots of birds from Jurong Bird Park, and buds from the Sentosa flower show.
Last year, I was visiting the Qutub Shahi Tombs of Hyderabad. Each of the 7 tombs in the landscaped Ibrahim Baug showcases some enchanting tomb designs in a mix of Persian, Hindu and Pathani styles. Each tomb has its distinct features, incorporating the best from that Nawab’s era. In historical and architectural terms, these tombs are priceless. And at this very spot I decided to exercise my brain and click photos in B&W. Great idea. Now if only I had been smart enough to shoot ALL the 7 tombs.
There are folders in my computer labeled ‘Mussourie’, Lucknow’, ‘Kerala’ with enough pictures to eat up hard disk space. The problem: Hardly anything is ‘useful’. A few could be used as standalones. Perhaps a story could be drummed up from a series of pictures, but the rest are mostly junk for a travel story.
So what should we shoot during a trip? The author of the blog, ‘1001 Travel Writer Tips’, says that one should be looking for at least 4 story angles when we go to a new place, apart from your main story.
I would say that homework should also be part of your plan before you hit any space. Also, while clicking, it would be nice to think of a story where you would use it at the same time.
Now if only I’d follow my own advice.