Monday, October 29, 2007

Scene from a street


Quiet sidewalk
Shanghai, China, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]


I'm not a big picture kind of photographer. Time and again, I take little pictures of little things, routine views of everyday life that usually don't merit much attention or reflection. I'm not sure why I've evolved this way. Part of it may be because I'm a contrarian, a bete noire, the kind of person who zags when everyone else zigs. When they lift their cameras, most folks seem to be capturing the same touristy, conventional views seen in travel brochures. I have no interest in being derivative.

So on this hot day, I found myself wandering the not-so-touristy streets of Shanghai, the ones where real people live and work. And as I did, the texture of the place kept jumping out at me. Little things stood out, like the uneven surface of the signs above each store, the bicycles and handcarts left haphazardly alone and unlocked, their trusting owners nowhere to be seen, the corrugated security doors closed here and there, prompting me to wonder whether their closure was temporary or permanent.

As I so often do, I took a picture as a reminder of how I felt at that moment, standing on a street so far from home. That I feel I can practically touch the scene on my flat laptop screen is testament to the richness of this place and the people who make it so uniquely memorable.

Your turn: Can a two-dimensional image capture texture? If so, how?

7 comments:

kenju said...

You certainly captured a lot of texture in this one, Carmi. The differences in the store fronts, the sidewalk, the trees - it makes for an interesting picture. I have seen streets in Honolulu and Rome and NYC that look very similar to that one. It helps to prove how very much alike all cultures are, at the root.

Smiler said...

Absolutely. This photo is a good example of it. I'll have to get back to you on the second part of the question.

craziequeen said...

Your question is interesting, 'cos I was just looking at the photo thinking 'don't the signs and the trees and everything make it look layered and 3 dimensional.....'

Great minds think alike.....

cq

Joy T. said...

The first thing I noticed? The color blue throughout the picture. They stand out to me and are calming to me. Love it.

Awareness said...

most definately a two dimensional pic can capture texture AND more. It can also capture the depth of emotions...... AND it can leave you wanting to know the story before during and after.....

I love your photos of everyday life for many reasons. Selfishly, I have learned by visiting your blog and reading your perspective that our communities are full of wonder, and full of humanity that we need to recognize and to share with others. What you have shared with us Carmi has helped me personally to view my community through the lens in a much different way........it has helped me find a new eye for photography.

thank you

Paige said...

Texture for sure, our eyes see it our minds feel it. In this shot I think I can even pick up some faint scents lingering in the air. Hows about you do you remember the smells that day at that time.
Again you and I often see the "other" things most just walk past and never miss. Ain't the world just a grand place to be?

Snaggle Tooth said...

Of course, with tonal geometrical contrast in proper justaposition.

What would these folks do without the invention of the wheel?