Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Odd Spaces ~ WideAngle Wednesday

(1/80 sec.@ F/8, ISO 200, 18mm fl, Pattern Metering, 18-55mm kit)

I get asked all the time, "why, when you take such inviting landscapes, and graceful florals, do you always post those grungy city shots?"... I guess the best way to answer this is to quote a mentor of mine from my early film days who once said to me after a frustrating day of shooting garbage cans on the street, taxis on the curb at the school, and someones lost gym shoe with little enthusiasm, "Every photographic subject has a pulse. Find it's rhythm and your image comes to life. That simple!" 

Garbage cans never looked the same to me again after that. Sure, landscapes can be soothing, and nature can be enchanting! But unusual spaces, difficult perspectives, and random elements found in the day to day places just have an undeniable rhythm for me in the lens. Odd places, old buildings, harsh elements challenge me. They taunt sometimes, whispering "nothing to see here..." Well, not really but you get the picture. And I love photography too much to walk away from such a challenge. In small ways what I learn about photographing the city, always gets applied later on to photographing nature too. Tricky compositions, more interesting angles, weird lighting... I've learned never to take anything for granted in that respect.

The excitement is taking an everyday space and capturing the most interesting part in such a way that anyone can relate to it, and better yet, be captivated by it if they choose. Or haunted by it. Or inspired by it. There's a thrill to finding it's pulse. And it's where I started 17 years ago with a film camera, it's a pulse I'm familiar with. And I hear it loudest sometimes... in odd spaces.

Thanks for the philosophical ramble, and have a good one folks!
This one goes out to all those students that had the inexplicable Mr.Shoveller for photography class! Cheers.

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