Saturdays laneways tour started on a cool overcast morning with a few cracks of blue trying to squeeze through, a group of people were making preparations on the steps of the State library (our meet up point) for a marriage equality protest due to take place later that day. I noted on my way to our meet up spot that a large part of Little Bourke st in China town was blocked off as well as some lanes, so I adjusted that mornings tour accordingly. There's always something going on in the lanes and little streets, often public works are competing with artworks.
One of the things I like to do with the group before we head off into the lanes is to set a small challenge, I tell them to look for symmetry between things when framing an image, look for visual connections in a particular scene whether that be static objects or people, find the balance. In some quarters this is referred to as the rule of thirds, I don't subscribe to this method of dividing up a scene, it's too prescriptive. I believe you have to practice on an instinctive level until it becomes second nature to look beyond the obvious sometimes to the more subliminal elements, ask yourself, is there some kind of connection here? It might be shape, colour, scale or where someone is standing in relation to you and another subject, the scenarios are endless. Don't settle for the first view point, move around in an arc, go in closer or step back and then within your viewfinder compose the shot look for the balance and symmetry, then take the photo. With practice and patience you'll get better at seeing and in turn your photography will improve, and more and more you will see things where once you would have moved on thinking not much was there worth photographing.
Now having said all that, sometimes symmetry is not found within in a single frame but is discovered in a single lane, you can always rely on an artist to cut to the truth of the matter. I took the last two images in this blog in Hosier lane, by luck a shaft of light was reflecting from somewhere up high onto the poster, the subject matter is always topical, perhaps a little more so lately.