Monday, July 17, 2006

Hard wood


Sometimes, the most sparse subjects make for the most worthy images. I'm not sure what prompted me to point my lens down at this simple composition. Come to think of it, I often don't know where the compulsion to take a given picture comes from.

I just knew from the moment that I first saw these plain wooden chairs on a polished wooden floor that this was something I'd like to remember. The bleakness of the composition spoke volumes, I thought silently as I toyed with my camera and pondered the ideal composition.

Beyond the image itself, I liked what it suggested; that these chairs were waiting for someone to sit in them. That something that this picture cannot explain was about to happen. That whatever the mystery event was, it would live in the imagination of the person who would ultimately see this.

And everyone's impression would be different.

Sometimes, the simplest of scenarios can be so much more. Which is why I love photography as much as I do.

Your turn: So what's your impression? What's about to happen here? Or has it already happened? Why do empty chairs capture the imagination?

24 comments:

Killired said...

it reminds me of playing a flute in the band... it looks like the chairs are organized for a symphonic concert!

CanEragon said...

Empty chairs for me signify one of two thngs in my daily life. Class is going to start soon and those chairs will be filled with students OR When I set up chairs from my home group on Tuesday nights, I know that each of my friends sit in a specific spot, each week, so each chair that I set down, I think about that person, and hope that they come back again this week for another meeting.

jeremy

Tracie said...

It looks like an abandoned game of musical chairs.....a couple of them are slightly out of line, but so far the game hasn't really gotten frenzic yet....and for some reason the kids left ot do something else.

Diva said...

I love how the 2 chairs in the lower right corner are a bit askew. I imagine a class of 3rd graders sitting impatiently, while the principal lectures them. As soon as they are dismissed, they jump out of their chairs and head to recess. That's why the two chairs are pushed aside.

If you haven't already, you should put this out on flickr. It's very interesting and I would think it would rate right up there pretty high on the interestingness scale.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

First of all Carmi, you overwhelm me with your kind and thoughtful words! And I thank you for that, my dear.

Okay. This looks like there is going to be a reunion of EST Peolple..(Does anybody remember EST??? Everyone sitting in hard chairs and listening to the Great Garu Werner....whatever his name was....! That was the first thing I thought of Carmi.

Ravvy said...

Clowns anonymous is about to start... someone new will sit in the top left most chair and be asked to stand up and say 'Hi, my name is Joe Blown from down the road, and im a clown' and in chorus the rest of the group will say 'Hi, Joe!' and Joe will feel accepted for once, because society - as much as it needs it - still is weirded out by the people who are funny...

... or... it could be anything...
I love that picture tho - i imagine you strapped to a harness over a roof support being hauled up by a few macho men and while you dangle there you try to tell them to not move you...

...having a moment here...!!!

PS-i added you to my 'frequented blog' list - i hope you dont mind :D!

toni said...

Someone's about to put on a show and he's worried that nobody will show up. :(

daisy said...

I think they look sad because everyone has come and gone. Because they aren't in perfect straight rows as they would be if they hadn't yet been sat upon.

Florence said...

The Chair stands in for the person, artists have used the chair to represent the absent person often, or used the chair to express themselves - think Van Gogh's Chair.

So here, with the spare wood and design, the chairs in a row seem to me like middle class urban conformity, and the charming askew chair seems to suggest a person who thinks a little differently from the pack.

xx

Sandy J said...

It reminds me that each person that will sit in each chair has a story to tell. Of life and love.

Wordnerd said...

What an incredible shot, Carmi. I love simplicity as well -- it speaks volumes, don't you think?

When I look at that shot, I think of the calm and quiet that will soon be broken when the chairs are full of a gathering of folks with something to say.

Jennifer said...

I don't know what in the world I think happened, but I love the picture. My OCD doesn't permit me to look at the picture without mentally straightening the row :) The chairs on the end change everything...keep it from being just a stark row of chairs. One of my favorites of all your pictures, I think :) Oh, and the black and white is perfect...color wouldn't have worked as well :)

Michael Manning said...

Carmi: I interpret this, of course, as overlooking the balcony of a College Conservatory of Music where a Quartet will give a 20th Century Music concert! Nice job!

persia said...

What's about to happen here? I think an Urban Commando Photographer is about to fall out of the sky and disrupt the array of chairs, in a failed attempt at recreating a scene from Mission Impossible... Nah, I'm sure you have your safety belt on... :-)
--jsf

Killired said...

ravvy, that's funny... i now have the pictured of tom cruise hanging from the ceiling in mission impossible... only it's carmi strapped in taking pictures!!!!!

Thumper said...

To me, that's the image of punishment. Being 10 years old and forced to sit in an non air conditioned gym while the first grade choir tries to sing a rousing version of Row Row Row Your Boat in impferct round-robin style.

:::the memories:::
=shudder=

Killired said...

so carmi, are you going to tell us what the pix is of? just dying to know if it was indeed for a concert

Cyndy said...

It's over...but only one person came and they are the one that didn't put their chair back properly

Shephard said...

Note the single crooked chair placement... I think, this person screamed and jumped up because he/she saw something pass by a door with a window in it... and of course, everyone else followed to see what it was.
~Shephard's Sheep-will-follow Theory

convenor_ldn said...

anticipation.....these chairs will soon hold eager employees gathered to hear the quarterly good news about their successful company.

Ontario Emperor said...

Having attended two conferences (with breakout sessions) over the past month, the picture doesn't suggest anything more profound to me than "you're too early for the session; come back in 45 minutes."

Is it just me, or would one empty chair be more powerful than a bunch of empty chairs?

Malinda777 said...

This photo reminds me of days past in high school band. The goal, to be good enough to sit in that first chair :)

Nice photo, you have a real mind for the beautifully abstract.

Tammy said...

What a cool picture...actually, that would make a neat picture for a blog theme...all those chairs, waiting for your readers (with laptops perhaps?) to sit down and start reading.

Ok, so I have an overactive imagination...and I'm obsessed with blog themes...I confess to both. :)

littlepurplecow said...

A scenario where boredom is likely to breed. Although that could depend entirely on the person standing.