Friday, July 3, 2009

Artificial Const(rain)t

So I was going to walk and take some pictures, and a huge rainstorm came up, and my first reaction was "damn" because my plans were messed up. I thought about catching pictures of the light before the rain and after, but then thought I should let the rain be my constraint, and see if I could take a picture in the "worst" conditions.

The first is taken pulled over on a street, with pouring rain, and the car window down. The constraint here made me take a picture I'd never otherwise take, of something that I find ugly on many levels; even the framing (where I stopped, briefly, and the open window, and the distance I could get leaning across the seat but staying out of the rain) is constrained. I guess what I "like" about this picture (and maybe about some of the NYC pictures I took last week) is that it captures the ugliness well (the plastic, the incompleteness of the construction, the aggressive sign, the ubiquitous brandnames, the rain).

The second I really like: I stopped the car three blocks from home and took a bunch of pictures as the windshield became obscured. I like that this picture captures the blurring of vision that we constantly try to see around or through, as our eyes compensate and refine or complete what we need to see (the contours of the road). Here everything we normally focus upon is reduced to colors and shapes, while that which should be transparent (the glass, the atmosphere) come together with texture.
This third I attempted after several unsuccessful attempts to take a picture on our porch: I was trying to capture rain in several directions, and finally tried upward and to the right--a view I never catch, but one that allowed me to show the rain. Here I like the contrast of artificial shapes and lines (house and wiring) with the nature (leaves and trees), the color contrast, the clarity of the foregrounded leaves (and the shadows as they overlay, and then the delicacy of the weedy vine) compared with the fuzziness of the tree in the background, even the lone drop on the electric line.

And this last picture is from the top pane of the left window over the sink, capturing the run-off from the eave: I had to hold the camera up there and take a few pictures.

All of the above were cropped and modified (color contrast, mostly) with Photoshop, about which I still have some ambivalence, as it seems like these are less my pictures. But this fancy blogging software and font, I guess, enhances my writing, though this is not what my hand would have produced. Not sure what I think about that....

Anyway...some first constraint pictures...

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