Coffee Pot Roundabout in Darseit
Coffee Pot Roundabout in Darseit.
This is a photo of the Arabian Coffee pot Sculpture on the roundabout in Darseit, a suburb of Muscat, the capital of Oman.
If you want to buy a print, card or poster of the Coffee Pot in Darseit, go to Fotomoto.
What makes some photos stand out?
Like most photographers I take photos in a hurry.
Sometimes quantity seems more important than quality and there seems to be some truth in Bernard Shaw’s view that photographers are like frogs laying thousands of eggs hoping that at least one will survive – and that was long before digital capture came upon us.
But, sometimes I think a more considered approach brings dividends and there is also the combination of imagination and the choice of equipment.
As a rule I’ve told myself that there are two ways to a great photograph:
One way is to create a fabulous image of an ordinary subject.
The other, is to take something impressive, or beautiful such as a cathedral or a rose and record it faithfully.
Of course this is oversimple and what about a wonderful image of a marvellous sight?
There’s a further problem and this is endemic in travel photography even as the world shrinks:
What is ordinary?
Ordinary even in your village may be extraordinary in the next town and it’s the same in the global village.
And of course, for the photographer there’s more:
For me this photo contains memories and knowledge which the viewer cannot know.
Most days I would leave my apartment in Ruwi and take the road through Darseit that went up through the mountains to a place where the whole city was spread out beneath complete with palaces and minarets.
Some things are clear from the photographic point of view as central to every photo is the quality of light.
The light of the Arabian Gulf is not just harsh but clear. Oman, even near the capital is a land with bright clean air. There is a little haze that comes off the sea but none of the dirt that ruins so many cities in the world.
And there’s little twighlight or dusk as the transition from day to night is brief.
This, of course, effects photography.
As the light is bright and clear, low ISO, fast shutters speeds and small apertures are standard.
And what about the choice of equipment?
Like most photographers of my generation I had to make a choice in moving to digital capture and having decided to use digital I had to acquire new skills and learn new rules.
The transition meant taking all my film stock mostly shot on medium format film and scanning it to make the digital image.
This photo is an example.
Photography is different when you have twelve shots to a roll of film and when you bracket when you can as the latitude of colour slide film is so little.
Of course you have to wait for the processing to see the results and if you’re lucky enough to be scratch free.
So for this photo I used one of my square format cameras with a waist level finder – my Zenza Bronica with its standard lens.
I had a tripod with me but I was confident that I could handhold without shake in the bright light and the only movement was the water pouring from the pot.
A waist level finder made it easy to balance the camera on a convenient boulder to get the low angle I was looking for and the square format takes away the need to turn the camera around.
I still love medium format film – and you can buy an awful lot of film for the price of a medium format digital camera.
I still want to be able to select and crop without loss of quality which is one reason that I use a digital camera with as many megapixels as I can find.
And one other great bonus for the travel photographer – absolutely no batteries. My medium format cameras, Zenza Bronica, Yashicamat, Great Wall and Seagull are all battery free.