"Where the Stairway Ends"
Converging lines and vanishing points. Ever think about them? I do. All the time. I'll say it again - all the time! In fact, it's often to the exclusion of all else. It's just the way the creative side of my brain works. I see lines in the everyday scenes around me before I notice anything else. So forgive me if it seems to be a strongly recurring theme on the blog. Couldn't help it if I tried, or did I say that already?
Repetition is the theme if you haven't noticed by now. Go get a coffee and then come back... better? Still seeing double? That's because the only thing better than one set of really great lines that tantalize the eye in a photo, are two. Both the images from today's post were pretty nice images on their own... after all, any kind of lines that run completely through an image and become the actual subject are pretty interesting. But, every once in a blue moon I get an image that begs for more, that asks to defy reason even. These images can be tremendously fun to work on. You're almost creating an alternate reality. Almost. So stop with the "twilight zone" track.
The image up top was from a world wide photo walk. The set of stairs was interesting to me but tucked into a tight area of buildings. It became impossible for me to find a composition I was happy with. The ideal wasn't possible. I walked away frustrated at the time because what I was envisioning seemed impossible. I figured I get home and delete the shot completely. But after converting the initial composition into Corel's Platinum B&W filter, the lines I loved popped a bit more. And I immediately thought of my art influences... specifically M.C.Escher, whose most famous works are true mind benders and cannot be viewed casually or you miss the genius infused within each piece.
The beauty of digital darkroom and programs like Photoshop and PSPx2, is you can play without committing to a result. So I started to play in a kaleidoscope feature, rotating mirror tools, and lens distortions. Rotating mirror, a feature that allows you to find the compositional center of an subject and not just divide the actual image in half like some editing tools, won out. I suddenly had the stairway to nowhere. For someone fairly new to photography at the time my response was "cool!"
The image below is now the result of someone who automatically sees interesting vanishing points and lines within a composition, makes them the subject, and knows instinctively that when I get it home it'll get the mirror treatment. Do I use it to the exclusion of all else. No. Do I use it to create things totally unrelatable to you the viewer? I hope not. The image below simply looks like the people in the market were walking along a mirrored ramp way to the stalls below. But in fact, this shot had major space on the left where the ramp drops away. I knew when I took the shot that the lines covering the right side of the shot were engaging. I essentially knew I'd mirror this shot. It has an impact the original never had because of it. Especially since there were people moving into and out of the frame, the sense of the moving crowd is increased for effect as well. And I get a kick out of the one gentleman staring at me out of the crowd.
I think I may challenge myself next week to find some cool mirrors to photograph. Without the extra editing to aid the shot. Just to see what can be done right in the camera. Wanna try along with me? I'd love to see your shots folks! We can feature them here for you too! But it'll mean you'll be seeing double again... and I'd hate to give you a complex.
Thanks for letting my ramble on, in my own quirky way! Get out there and find those cool lines all around you begging to be photographed... and have a super day all!