brooklyn bridge graffiti


I picked up my first professional, DSLR camera- those big heavy looking ones- when I was maybe 16 years old. As everyone else around me, I had always associated the quality of the camera to the quality of the photos, but soon, I learned that the two have little correlation. In fact, I don’t even always need my Canon 5D Mark 3. 

I carry a very potent camera with me at all times in the form of a small and efficient iPhone 5S. Often times I hear people associating photo quality with the camera (and more importantly, its price). In all honesty, both of these factors only play a small role in photography. Of course, everyone loves to have flashy, fancy equipment but its not the most crucial part of your artwork. Factors such as composition and lighting are what make or break a photo. 

For example, the first two images in this set focus on composition. The whirling dervishes had to be at the right place at the right time for the shot to play out how I wanted it to. I wanted to capture their whirling while also keeping them ambiguous, hence, they are facing the opposite way and you can easily see their clothing show signs of spinning. 

Another factor is lighting. Images 4 and 6 of this set are both examples of how lighting is crucial in making a photo. Both images, captured on a cell phone, have an interesting distribution of light. The first one, with the whirling dervishes, plays on the simple shadows of the performance hall and the white gowns of the dervishes. The other images shadows from the sitting people and the overhead branches to keep the image’s focus on the graffiti. The writing, in a deep red, reads “Love me.” The writing is emphasized by the depth of the image and the ambiguity of those sitting underneath. I found there to be an interesting disassociation between the message the writing so boldly conveyed and the aloofness of those who were sitting directly beneath it. Again, the device with which the image is captured is only so useful. even the most expensive of cameras and lenses can only do so much. A good photo comes from a good eye. It is important to make do with the equipment that you possess.

- Arpan