Photographs can have highly evocative qualities. When successful, they create an emotional response in the viewer. Often times, this may be mixed with liking or disliking the work but with a little extra nudge, we can probably enter the evocative domain and explore the underlying feelings.
My previous post included 30+ photographs which I hoped to take the viewer to an emotional trip. By this, I don’t mean they would start crying or giggling but feel something beyond the light coming from the photographs. The verbal narrative here will be leading by its nature and you may think it is in hindsight, but trust me those were my feelings when I took the photographs. You may or may not feel the same. Just give it a try to see what I felt.
Dusk is a threshold between day and night and possibly one of the points in our day when feelings are stronger. The day ends, the night is around the corner. There is a little relief mixed in with a bit of melancholy, perhaps fatigue mixed with relaxation. Dusk is usually when I take my short walks in the neighborhood and the light filtering through the leaves with a sky tinted in the colors of the hour trigger and enhance that mixed feeling. I saw the leaves against the pastel-colored sky like a delicate lace that is about to disappear and experienced that feeling. They will come back tomorrow again, that is the relief. Take a look at those photographs once more. Do you see the lacework as if hand placed on the branches? Do you feel them ready to disappear, at least for that evening? Do they make you recall anything?
Thresholds and Transience
Thresholds, whether at dusk or elsewhere, signal transition; from outside to inside, from day to night, and more. Many of the photographs in the series also about transition, transience, fleeting time. Think about it; every photograph is a record of this transience whether we realize and accept it or not. We see something, point our camera and look at the future photograph. Then, we capture a unique moment in time. And, that moment transitions instantly to the past. When we look at the photograph, any photograph, we are always looking back. In fact, photography is a threshold between the future and the past, pausing at present for the duration of the shutter speed.
Now, review the three roses once more, sequenced from a perky and fresh to open and mature, only to disappear and leave their star-shaped sepals. All that, while a new bloom gets ready to start the cycle once more. The cycle of life. Haluk obliquely commented about this on the previous post. Do you feel the age and aging of the Chinese Lanterns? By this time, those may have already disappeared. Until next year.
The Coronet and its artifacts follow a similar pattern. They are dusty with age, visitors write names on them, while a worker creates new dust by sanding the wooden hull. It once was gorgeous, went down to almost ruin, and will rise again after the dust settles, elsewhere of course. Look at other artifacts displayed around the huge hull to see how time painted with rust and erosion. One such artifact, a round steel arc attached to a string showed the literal transition from the old and rusty to bright and shiny behind the plastic threshold. And, the actual threshold I saw coming down the stairs alludes to the same with clear transitions from dark to light, from one frame to the next as if in a movie roll.
Change and Random Events
Pebbles always manifest transformation, from large rocks to smooth stones we can hold in our hands changed by years of chiseling by nature. The ones I saw near the IYRS (International Yacht Restoration School) where the Coronet is undergoing its restoration also had an added element of transformation by human hands, painting. Some even had stickers put on them to share some additional ideas. Art pretending nature pretending art! There are a few examples of this idea in the few photographs I took in the neighborhood too. The randomness of a spill or a colorful mark on the manhole cover, even the lone leaf on the hard asphalt symbolize this sort of change, transition, and cycle.
The Human Touch
And there are those lines I tried to draw in the sky by including the overhead wires. How else can one draw lines to frame the emerging moon in the sky or contrast the human touch versus nature? The hard stone Temple to Music in the middle of Roger Williams Park in Providence represents the same contrast. Don’t get me wrong, I like the Temple to Music but it is hard not to see the harsh hand of human touch against the softer nature.
The motion-blurred trees are a continuation of an idea I started a while back, time compressions. Using long enough shutter speed to capture the motion by compressing time into one frame. I took them from the passenger window of the car as we returned from Newport via a stopover in Jamestown for lunch. There, I could not resist the purple prose of the lounge chair. Very colorful, pretending to be important, and overpowering the color of the Impatient blossoms behind it.
And the Karma Pizza photograph? Well, you know, it is Karma!
Ordinary to Extraordinary
So, I photograph the ordinary probably because in many ways our lives are ordinary. We live in ordinary homes, drive ordinary cars to visit ordinary stores, go by ordinary places. Those ordinary things hold an extraordinary place in our lives, indeed they make up our lives. Maybe yours too! Here they are once more, the collection of ordinary things and places. Don’t neglect the ordinary, transient, faint, frail, and all the frames that may be imperfect. There are highly desirable qualities in them, they are life. Our lives.