Saturday, February 24, 2007

Icefall


Improbable landscape
London, Ontario, February 2007 [Click to enlarge]


I've been taking walks through the neighborhood at lunch lately. It gives my eyes a chance to rest from constantly staring at the screen, which helps me clear my head and set the stage for a productive afternoon. I've been taking my camera with me not because I have any preconceived notion of what I'll see, but because I never know when something worth shooting will crop up. I hate being somewhere, standing in front of something photoworthy (yes, I invent words), only to be frustrated that my hands are empty.

On this viciously cold day, I ventured down a bleak-looking side street because I felt a need to be in a sad place (don't worry, I'm not depressed, but I enjoy walking through crumbling urban vistas. I'm strange that way.) On a forlorn stretch of pavement that could easily be mistaken for a back alley, I found myself standing between a curling club on one side and an adult superstore on the other. Cars slowly idled into the alley as their drivers pathetically attempted to avoid making eye contact with me.

At least two cars circled the block when they saw me with my camera, thinking that perhaps I'd be gone upon their return. I wasn't, of course. I smiled at them, almost as if to let them know I didn't really care how they got their jollies as long as they stayed away from me.

When I tired of making these pseudo-pervs feel guilty for not downloading it from the Internet, I turned to face the curling club. An ice-encrusted pipe stretched from ground to roof. There was so much ice around it that I didn't want to get too close lest it crack and fall on me. So I stood back and zoomed in. Normally, I'd let my eye linger in the viewfinder, moving the camera around to compose the most artful perspective. But it was reaaaaaallllly cold, and I couldn't feel my hands anymore (I apparently spent too much time laying the guilt on the pervs) so I tripped the shutter on a few different compositions and called it a day. I breathed repeatedly - and futilely - into my mitts as I walked back to the office.

As I look at this image, I think about the grotesque underbelly of humanity that I witnessed in the moments before I captured it. And I realize that a little slice of landscape-like magic was happening right under my nose. Another case of inspiration in the most unexpected of places.

Your turn: If you've got a smut-busting story, I hope you'll share it.

16 comments:

rob said...

I'm betting, Carms, that you weren't scaring off skittish pervs but embarrassed curlers.

rosemary said...

No smut busting, but a smut purchase. We went to San Francisco for our 20th anniversary last year. The friend that cat sits for me sent me an email while I was gone (my husband always takes his laptop). She had looked up the hotel where we were staying and jokingly mentioned a famous sex toy place close by...hinting at how we should celebrate the anniversary. We found the place, I bought her a very naughty toy and some special oil to go along with it, my spouse took a picture of me in front of the store and I gave her the gift at work when we returned. She is a good sport and had a good laugh. She has a copy of the pic of me on her desk at work. So I was the one busted so to speak.

L said...

at least the landscape was lovely :)

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Another gorgeous picture; you've really got the eye for it.

If you're around the next few days, check in at West of Mars. No perv-buster for you, but an outtake set at the band's backstage party. You'll get a chuckle out of it, I hope.

Foster Dogs said...

Hee hee, making the pervs feel guilty!

Just stopped by to say hi. Nice pictures!

kenju said...

No smut-busting here, carmi. That photo is other-worldly.

AB said...

It's amazing what we see when we take time to look - seamy underbelly of the city or nature's beauty in the face of urbanization. I always enjoy reading your daily observations; they're a real treat for me as your writing style is so effortless and flowing.

Thank you for my daily fix! :)

Pat said...

Ohhh, Carmi! How I enjoy reading your writings. I was trying to figure out exactly where you were to capture this photo.

What a lovely image and I'm sorry, no story from me tonight. It's so late! lol

Pat

Rainbow dreams said...

no smut-busting stories...
but love the fact that every one of your photos has a story to go with it, just like every piece of art has a story behind it...

oh, and I thought photoworthy was a word :)

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

have been enjoying your writing and images very much - like your take on life - it's refreshing

rashbre said...

It looks as if it could be something from Narnia!

I also have pictures from less well off parts of town where there are kinds of strange situations, most recently in Amsterdam and Manchester.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Me, again -- from Michele this time, though. My smuttish outtake's up at my blog... how's breakfast?

Marion said...

I don't think you are strange at all for taking a walk down a sad part of town.

As you discovered, there is beauty there, too.

Love your writings!

CG said...

A guy was recently caught downloading child porn in our central reference library! In public!! It defies belief...

I love that photo Carmi

eurorebs said...

Great. Now I have the Ghostbusters theme going through my head - but it's saying "Smutbusters!" :)

I thought I was looking at a frozen waterfall - as in a large river waterfall. I love to find beauty in the "ugly" things. Can't help but to quote U2:

"Because Grace makes beauty out of ugly things
Grace finds beauty in everything
Grace finds goodness in everything"

Hmm. I may need to blog about that...

And thank you so much for your generous comments. They really are so encouraging!!

Gyrobo said...

That was you?!