Show me the money (shot)
In the TV world, we call it the money shot. You know, of all the photos you shoot during your vacation, it’s the one shot that makes people go “wow, did YOU shoot that?”
In my case, yes I did. Over the last couple of years or so, I’ve picked up photography as a hobby. Started out with an old Canon Digital Rebel, firing away at anything and everything. Might sound strange coming from a guy who’s on TV everyday. I mean, TV needs video. We need to see things moving, on screen. Sheesh, even YouTube’s good enough in a pinch. Still images just don’t cut it anymore, right?
Hold on. The Hajj is the perfect place to showcase why photos are still relevant. Take this example. You’re outside the Great Mosque, with hundreds of thousands of people bowing in prayer. Their movements are synchronized, and you always know what they’re going to do next. Stand up, bend over, back up again, then prostrate. Shoot enough video, and it gets monotonous. In the TV world, you’ve got five, maybe ten seconds before the viewer changes the channel.
That’s what makes photos so special. They capture specific images of that reality frozen in time. Think of all the great moments during that synchronous prayer. The child who stands up while everyone around her is bowing; the teardrops in an elderly woman’s eyes; or the blind man reading the Qur’an in brail. No video could really do any of those moments any justice.
That’s why we have photos. Over the next little while, I’ll be posting whatever photos I can. The goal is that each photo should tell a story – shed some light on an aspect of the Hajj that’s newsworthy and will provoke discussion.
I’m not a pro. Just a guy with a camera. As a general rule, I don’t do any touch-ups on my photos. I may correct slightly for white balance or tone, but that’s about it. The vignetting is more or less natural (happens when you’re shooting on an ultra-wide lens). Hope you’ll enjoy.
And hopefully, there’s a money shot or two in there somewhere.