Trash is interesting – it often provides great photographic subject matter, and its very nature dictates that its presence is transitory (after all, it IS garbage) and the randomness of its appearance and arrangement makes it a challenge to compose and photograph. The location makes it even more difficult. I mean, you can’t very well go up to someone’s curbside trash pile and click away, without getting odd looks from passersby.

Besides, in most localities, trash is generally put out for collection on certain days, generally late at night and collected very early in the morning, so the lighting is impossible and the timing is worse. But it is a fun challenge, if you enjoy the unexpectedness. I suggest a mid-range zoom, medium-fast film and an opportunistic attitude. And be very careful. It’s generally better to get out of your car to ensure that you have a good composition, but be aware of where you are. You don’t want to get mugged. Also, it’s best to avoid taking pictures from a car in a residential neighborhood – it might appear suspicious, and someone may report you to the cops. 🙂


Photographed with an OM-1 and Zuiko 75-150mm f/4, Kodak Gold 200 film.

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.