An early winter afternoon on a Parisian street means the minimal aliquot of sunlight peaking between buildings and turning the pedestrians to silhouettes. School just let out in the 15th arrondissement and parents walk their squads of enfants home.
I occasionally play with self-portraiture, but I almost always shoot with natural light. I was inspired by this shot to try some super-stark and very dramatic lighting. I’m quite happy with the way the point-source LED lighting from my cell phone created the tiny sparkle to my eye. If I were a more poetic person, I’d say something about the glint of an idea forming.
There’s too much unsettling photography out there to limit my Halloween to just a single photograph! The image of a completely dark San Francisco (in the moment between the sun beginning to set and all of the headlights and streetlights turning on), with its specific skyline rising from the mist of the marine layer, just screams “post-apocalyptic cityscape.” Or do I detect a hint of Blade-Runner-esque “California of the Future” in the angles and orange colors? While I’m on the topic of future and past, I have a question:
Do you George Lucas your work?
This photography is one of the first that I ever took with a “real” camera, in the late fall of 2011. The RAW file was sitting quietly on my external storage drive, fallow and ready to live again. In comparing this image with the original approach I took to processing, I see enormous differences and enormous improvements—or at least an evolving artistic sensibility. I’d call this approach “George Lucasing:” going back to old work and updating or improving as my skills improve. And I’m not sure I like that it’s something I should do. Photography captures a moment, and needs a sense of finality. On the other hand, if I am spatially removed from a place (be it San Francisco or South Africa), without the immediate opportunity to return, can this creation be a healthier expression of nostalgia?
If I may digress from stark images of winter landscapes or warm seaside expanses for a moment to something more personal: I recently attended a birthday party for my one-year-old niece. The extended family was overjoyed, and she was a bit overwhelmed. In the landscape of warm woods and deep shadows and Persian rugs, the sense of “home” was overpowering. This was a place that could exist at almost any point in the past 150 years, somewhere in New England.