Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sebastopol Parking Lot

I dont know why but whenever I look at groups of photographs that I have taken, I have found that the ones that I like the most are "slice of life" type things. I mean, these are the kinds of things I see whenever I am just sitting somewhere. Usually I dont have my camera or I am too shy to whip it out. On this day though, I was sitting around with fotocali at Whole Foods in Sebastopol and well, one thing about sitting outside Whole Foods with fotocali is that you might as well get out the camera and get over all the shyness about snapping pictures of *whatever* in public. It turns out that some of my favorite shots from California were from when I was sitting there at Whole Foods.

This is one that I liked a lot. I love anonymous people in photographs and I love capturing them as they are just going about their business. This is one of those photographs that calms me (and I have needed some calming lately). Just looking at it, calms me. :)


Anonymous said...

... and Fotocali (me) likes this foto! That the two people in it (the two people VISIBLE in it, for there are many other people IMPLIED in this foto) are only, like, half captured but each clearly convey that they are in the midst of something. SOMEthing; what, exactly, we don't know. But their actions tell us that this is a bustling place (the cars in the background tell us that too).

I also like the band-aid on the arm of the guy in the foreground: nice little tidbit slice-of-life that we all go thru.

But I mostly love the crosswalk in the composition. It both divides the frame and joins the distance and the foreground, the right and the left. That's an interesting, appealing, mental/mathematical play for the brain: how the crosswalk runs along a Z-axis (depth; front-to-back), yet also serves as a "track" for the eyeball to roll along and join together/link the guy on the right (in the near background) and the guy on the left (in the foreground). Neat geometry there.

Two other cool things: sometimes your b&w have low contrast. You seem to have learned to fix that: this shot has nice deep blacks to it. Satisfying!

Finally: I think I see the Fotocali car in this shot...!

Oh, wait, one more thing: in the movie "Smoke," Harvey Keitel is a smokeshop store owner in Brooklyn. Each and every day at noon he steps out the door of his store and points his camera at exactly the same scene and takes one shot. At some point in the movie he shows his album of these photos to someone. The someone replies, "But they're all the same photo!" And Keitel explains that "They're not! Look, there are different people, different cars, different weather" etc. Lynne, if you like such shots as this of yours, you might like to see that movie for this tidbit about photography (the rest of the movie is pretty good too). And, give a thought to what variations you might capture in this Sebastopol parking lot if you were to similarly point your camera at exactly the same spot each and every day for years on end. details about "Smoke".. from that page, here's a bit of the plot description:

"This film tries to convince us that reality doesn't matter so much as aesthetic satisfaction. In Auggie's New York smoke shop, day by day passes, seemingly unchanging until he teaches us to notice the little details of life."- - Fotocali

Anonymous said...

...Fotocali PS:

You said that you are finding the type of photos you like most ("slice of life" shots of things you see whenever you're just sitting somewhere). This is what I tell people: just shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot and soon you'll realize what kind of photo really turns you on, and that's what you'll begin focusing on and becoming expert at.

And, I forgot to say how interesting it is, too, that one guy is walking deeper into the background ("vertically," you might say) while the other is walking across the frame horizontally. That adds to the satisfying geometry happening in this shot.

- - Fotocali

Anonymous said...

Guess where I'm headed back to today? :-)

- - Fotocali

Lynne said...

Hey, thanks for your comments! I wish I were heading back to you-know-where today too :)

I think the "washed out" look to some of my photos has to do with the monitor at work I have. When I make prints, they look washed out too. They look fine on the monitor at work though. I am starting to learn how to compensate for that. Maybe when I have some money I'll be able to get a new computer at home with a better monitor and some good photo editing software.

OH well, that is a ways away...:)

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