Photographer Debbie Scott-Queenin captures everyday life and unplanned moments in her fascinating portfolio. Visit her website to view more of her work.
I’ve always been one to enjoy “down-time” when I’m alone with my thoughts and away from distractions. A time when I’ve escaped from daily mundane routines.
Down-time affords me opportunities to explore new ventures. Some are planned, some are happenstance, some are cerebral and some are just plain idiotic. But who cares? It’s what I enjoy and I let my mind wander and my body go where it wants to explore. New adventures are always good for the inquisitive mind.
When I took up photography as an art calling in my mid-60s, I discovered a penchant for capturing cityscape and landscape scenes, and people going about their day-to-day lives within those scenes.
Reluctant at first for fear of invading someone’s privacy, I soon realized that a lot of people, when they’re out and about, are totally oblivious to goings-on around them. Then I started to wonder if they, too, are experiencing down-time.
Maybe they feel that pulling away from reality and not letting distractions get in the way help to propel one to triumph. So, I started to explore body language, facial expressions and verbal communications to piece together stories for each. In a sense, their supposed down-time became a slice of my own down-time.
As I developed this “reading” skill, I started to also incorporate different photography techniques in my pursuit of unique and creative stories. I tried to never underestimate the power of an emotion or the reliance on our senses that we take in to interpret the world. For example, experimenting with photography at different times of the day may guarantee a desired effect resulting from the amount of light and darkness or shadow.
Along with color, the amount of light and shadow may invoke a certain frame of mind, a mood, or maybe a sense of energy. And there’s always a need to find a balance of light and darkness. I may want to set a mood, but at the same time, I don’t want to muddy the image when not enough light is entering the camera to create the desired effect.
Varying shutter speeds is another technique I like to use. Slow shutter speeds will capture movement, high shutter speeds will freeze movement. Intentional camera movement, in conjunction with slow shutter, may create an impressionistic effect, inviting the viewer to delve deep into the image to examine details and nuances.
I also love reflections, whatever they may be. Reflections can produce a bit of magic that teases our mind about what is real versus what is imaginary.
The people depicted in my photography are, for the most part, in their own world, and are captured going about their day-to-day activities. Some invite me into their world, allowing me to personally connect with them. Some, on the other hand, are remote participants.
My landscape and cityscape scenes reflect my take on their respective individuality. All in all, they have afforded me opportunities to create unique photographic captures during my down-time.