“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
I don’t know that there is a more cliche saying in photography, yet to this day it holds true. There are so many ways to capture a moment: through words, etched into memory, thought, and behavior, via film, voice recorder, and selfies. But capturing that moment in a single frame, in 1/250th of a second, and trying to convey the atmosphere, feeling, emotions, and personal stories surrounding that instance can be a lifelong pursuit.
Photography has served as one of the foundations for The Sights And Sounds. Hell, we allude to the visual cacophony of life in our name! Throughout the year, our photographers and creatives work tirelessly at concerts and music festivals trying to capture those blissful seconds, unforgettable slices of time that we wish to share with the entire world, putting on display the magic of those immortal moments caught in freeze frame in our little corner of the universe.
Below you’ll find The Sights And Sounds’ top photos for 2015. In them, we’ll highlight some of our favorite festivals covering events from Burning Man and Lightning In A Bottle to Electric Zoo, Symbiosis Gathering, and Mysteryland USA. Along the way we’ll comment on why or how the photo came to be and why we like it so much. So sit back, scroll down, and enjoy our best sights of 2015.
Timing is everything. Sunset and mermaids jumping in the water are mere glimpses caught in the seconds of the shutter. Miss your framing or mis-focus, and the moment is gone. Enlist the actors and give some thought to the the time of day, and when the time comes to fire off your shots, you can rest easy knowing the flashes of magic are caught on film.
Black and white will never go out of style. When you get rid of the extraneous information, the real detail of your shot shines through. Notice the eyes, the facial expression, the light play, and the lack of detail in the background drawing you into the face. Done right, black and white can convey novels.
Portrait’s can speak volumes, often times better than the biography. Take time to get to know your subject, find their strengths and what speaks to them – their stories will shine through your lens even brighter when you take the time. A shallow depth of field draws your eyes to the face and keeps your subject the focus of your story.
Remember the basics: thoughtful composition, leading lines, and color are key to any photo. Here, color doesn’t play such a key role, but the leading lines draw your eye into the center of the photo, despite having two subjects on stage. Leading lines can be used to draw the viewers eye into our out of a photo, make sure you use them wisely to convey the best story for your subject.
Burning Man 2015 will live in infamy as one of the toughest in recent memory. With daily winds exceeding 20mph kicking up dust storms that limited your visibility to the end of your arm, simply having a camera out and exposed became a serious worry. Playa dust is perhaps the finest powder around and literally finds it’s way into EVERYTHING. Mix that with the degrading alkalinity of the sand and you have a the perfect recipe for a camera-shaped paper weight. In between the hellish storms, however, opportunities to take advantage of the wind-swept misfortune of others abounded.
Never underestimate the power of a moment in time. By framing multiple people into the shot, you can tell multiple stories. The single dancer on the art boat busting a move, the couple under the blanket locked in an embrace – two very different experiences juxtaposed against a stunning sunset show off the magic and beauty of the human story captured in a single frame.
Change your perspective, change the story. Facing this dancer gave poor lighting and a boring background – nothing of visual interest to convey an interesting story. Walking around the side of the stage, however, brings the lights into a different perspective, making it seem as though the dancer is literally moving a ball of energy around the photo. Change your perspective, change your story.
Sunsets are the best. When in doubt, shoot at sunset. It’s just magic
Check out our full gallery of The Sights And Sounds’ best photos of 2015 below!