I had high hopes for May. The pre-monsoon month brings with it good sunlight and interesting formations of clouds. I was planning to capture those white clouds reflecting across the wetlands near my home. I had also plans to drive down to some of the beaches and backwaters of Kollam district and photograph there. Unfortunately the worsening pandemic situation brought most of India under complete lockdown.
I decided to look for subjects in my backyard, which turned out to be a very rewarding experience. My first "location" was beneath the fig tree. On the first glance, nothing interesting - just decaying leaves and mud. The figs were all raw and the unexpected heavy summer rain will soon spoil them all. But on a closer look I found some figs having an attractive metallic yellowish-green color. Not all dead leaves are dull and brown, some are yellowish-red and even silvery. Observing the scene for a few minutes, I found this composition:
I also photographed the dead leaves alone, with the glowing tree trunk in the background. Some green grass jutting out served as a minor foreground interest.
Turning back I found a hole in the ground left behind by a fallen coconut palm. There were some small mushrooms growing inside. I placed my camera inside the hole so as to get a perspective that made the mushrooms look larger in the frame. This also helped to include some tiny green sprouts in the frame adding more contrast and life to the image.
These images do not represent idealistic landscape or nature photography and may turn many heads away. Here we see the raw representations of nature in chaos. Finding order in the chaos was challenging and I enjoyed the whole process. Also these frames remind me that the best images are found close to home ("best" here means "the most gratifying for the photographer".)
A few days later I took an evening stroll near my home, and noticed a bamboo grove backlit by the evening sun. Yes, I see this grove everyday but today the light was special. I photographed it with my pocket camera and post-processed it as a monochrome image.
The best photographs belong where you belong. While exploring new locations are important, never ignore what's close to home, especially the humble backyard!