Thursday, January 08, 2009

THE MATRIX- (OR WHY DISCUSSIONS ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY ARE PRETENTIOUS)

What lies beneath?


Down on the waterfront, it could have a contender for the "Cult of Babooshka's Ramsey Swing Bridge" but nah it's an offer I could refuse. Today we have instead an image that has perplexed me possibly as much as it will you. Why the hell did I take this. Simply an exercise in colour, light, texture and geometry.


It's taken of course on the edge of the harbour walkway, looking directly underneath The Ramsey Swing Bridge entrance. The first thing that struck me was the colour of the metalwork. It's a faded red and matt compared to the images you've seen before above which are deep red gloss paint. The bolsters underneath are covered in verdigris and rusting creating these green, gold orange tints. The moored boats blue and white bounce the light hitting the other side of the bridge rendering a slight purple tinge to the water in the right hand corner against the the true colour of the water in the top left corner which is barely blue. The criss crossing metal work creating form a strange matrix of lines encircling the cylindrical bolster. Each of those sections created by the grid of lines has caught it's own level of light and enhanced, trapped or obscured light to cast differing colours onto the water. No two sections therefore are the same colour. The swan bright white caught centrally has a ring of light water around it due to the light bouncing off him.


The image is a curio, a passing image that could only be taken at that angle due to the walkway edge. Always look above and below so much going on. Like the Matrix the reality on a cold grey day, poor light would be flat, lifeless and real. On a sunny day, at the tight angle the colours and reality are heightened. Use your illusion.


It's not a wall hanging image. I doubt I would tender for sale or commission for use. However if I did this is the kind of pretentious nonsense above that would sell it. It's all true, but does it need saying? Sometimes you just like an image, sometimes you don't. I do because I like the quirkiness. The reality of photography is this month I should have been photographing corporate images of new registration cars for a dealership. Your bog standard side on, head on shots. Got the text today to say that people aren't buying new cars in droves this month. The shoot is postponed until they do. The reality of photography for most photographers is the next shoot, mundane or creative not long drawn out discussions on the virtue of an image. That doesn't pay the bills. So maybe you understand why I make light of this strange way to make a living and sometimes want to blog about anything but photography!


So how was your day?

30 comments:

Julie said...

I understand perfectly. I have tons of shots I like because. To have to explain my tastes on why I like it would be difficult.

Tami said...

Welp...since you asked...my day revolved around frozen balls...tree balls that is. It was really not fun.

Next...

Jono said...

Babs, what gives? I like it too, it's odd. You say it like it is. Too much bs in the world. Here we get truth. Stay loose Babs.

Boise Diva said...

Um...my day? Your photograph pretty much says it all. Intersections of thoughts and style while editing "the news," my real job :)

ramblingwoods.com said...

I am only learning so I relieved to know that you can take them just because you like what you are seeing...

George said...

One advantage of being an amateur is that almost all of my pictures are taken because I see something I like.

magiceye said...

that was a wonderful treatise on photography - the way it is! loved it!

Tash said...

Great shot for strucutral engineers. I noticed the faded red (PasadenaAdjacent used the line recently 'red fades with distance').
Really sorry about the postponed shoot. I would think that some good photos would boost sales.

Bibi said...

Agreed--I too have shots that are just interesting for what they are, not necessarily for any outstanding photo merit.

Hyde DP said...

Yes we all love the textures and nuances of such shots and explanations about why they are so good just tend to sound boring as do a lot of the bread-and-butter images.

angela said...

Sorry to hear about the cancelled shoot..

This photo: i just love that colour. Engineering's not especially my thing but I can easily see why this shot might be more interesting than cars!

lisa said...

Chin up B.

lIsa said...

Chin up B.

Silwy said...

This photo isn't usual art impression, but I would say structural-color art is inside it...You said You wouldn't give it on sale, but maybe you wrong...There are different people in the world, with different art taste....

Dave said...

I agree to much talk about what makes an interesting image. Brave post for B.

Marc said...

Sometimes it's a fine line between nonsense and truth. Still, pretty good picture with many fine details.

Atlântico Azul said...

For me it sure IS a wall hanging image!!! The kind I LOVE to take. Now I'm «camera-less» and will have to save to buy one... Oh dear!... LOL!

Thank you for your wonderful comments and I am sorry I have been so terribly absent... Work and papers and all love me!!! LOL!!!

Small City Scenes said...

WET!!!

Kim said...

My day has been chaos, thanks for asking. Photography is a hobby for me and I take small pleasure just taking photos. Nothing fancy just things I like. I think people get to hung up about it. Good to see a professional's point of view.

Eki Akhwan said...

It can only come from a pair of observant photographer's eyes like yours, B!

A pink bridge ... that's really something ... :D

TOM FOOLERY said...

I've eaten 20 milion chocolates left over from Christmas! I now have a headache. I like the pinkness of the image :) TFx

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I love the COLOR of the wall and the light.

I am always taking pictures I feel I have to defend for one reason or another. Some I call my Zen shots--there is almost nothing in the pictures but a trace of line. People looking at them think I've missed some bird or animal that flew away, but no, I just ;liked the simplicity and line.

Today's shot of mine) is imperfect, the composition would have been better at another angle but There was a fence there and that was a close as I could get and I found it interesting even if imperfect--maybe no one else will. Oh well.

Have a wonderful day.

Mo said...

Another day tomorrow. Still that doesn't pay the bills. Suggestion... I've noticed that your fans love your photography tips...Maybe a PAID subscription based web for these. I for one would subscribe.

Lucy Hollis said...

I can easily understand why this would catch your eye and take a photograph of it! The textures, colours, angles...

I just came across your blog, and I am enjoying my 'trip' to the Isle of Man. So I say hello from another island, Bermuda!

picture to words said...

i like the tension . i just red who you are beca├║se i red your comments lot in mine ..thanks

i namaed you baboo ok

Mojo said...

I frequently come across shots that spark the "Why the hell did I take this shot" question. But rarely do I have so eloquent an answer. Often I have no answer at all, just a puzzled look and a "What was I thinking?"

But the title of your post alone was reason enough to read on. I think discussions of art in general tend toward the pretentious -- especially when the discussion involves either the insecure artist or art critics.

I'd love to be able to offer up solid artistic or photographic underpinning for all of my images, but the fact is that even the ones I really love I couldn't tell you why.

Merisi said...

I really love this image,
the colours, the composition, the mysteriousness of what lies beyond!

Good luck with your professional shoot!

Chuck Pefley said...

I've one or two of that ilk in my files as well :)

Pretension and hyperbole can be found in Wellington depth inside most galleries. Nice if one can breath that rarified air, but typically it makes my nose bleed and heady dizzy. Simply not enough oxygen to sustain either common sense or life.

Sorry about the postponed assignment. A global issue these days.

Neva said...

A very nice shot....I like it as well and sometimes you just can't describe why you like a certain shot....I hope business picks up for you soon!

Susie of Arabia said...

I love the vibrant red/pink color and the angles. I actually think this photo would also look great in black and white. You underestimate yourself and others' taste in art!
Hope you get some work soon...

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