Saturday, January 12, 2008

Energy oasis


Gas the Ford
Delray Beach, FL, December 2007


Gas stations are bleak, transient places where the ground is toxic and the people are sketchy. Yet when you're on the road at night, they're beacons to the bleary-eyed motorist, overlit patches of concrete that offer a bit of relief from the monotony of the darkened landscape.

I shot this out the window as we were stopped at a red light. I was challenged by the need to handhold the shot in an idling car with a longish exposure time. This continues my out-the-window photographic tour of the world (click here for another example.) I think there will be more, because I like how it feels to create moods without a lot of prep.

Your turn: Since I shot this quickly, I hope you'll comment on this quickly, too. What's the absolute first thought that comes to mind as you see this?

19 comments:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Clearly, the fact that you wouldn't get out of the car to take this picture reinforces your theory of the atmosphere of gas stations.

*grin*

Roland said...

Michele sent me to consider your picture- I have to admit though, my first thought upon looking at the photo was 'boy, I bet that old car uses a ton of gas!'
You are right though, that a gas station at night does have it's own sort of mood & tone.

kenju said...

The first thing I thought of was that the starkness of it reminded me of some old Edward Hopper paintings done from scenes in Chicago. Sparse, nighttime scenes in which everyone looks lonely, even when they're with people.

Mama DB said...

Looks like the photo was shot in another time. The old car looks like it could be new in black and white.

Jenty said...

First thought was... old car, wonder how old the photo is. And then I read your blurb.

rashbre said...

Nice sheen to this picture and the car looks very retro.

Sparkling Red said...

My first thought was: It looks very quiet. Lonely, yet peaceful.

craziequeen said...

Over here a gas station that empty gives the idea that it is going out of business - here in the UK there are usually hoardings, signs, advertising and activity, even at night.

And our society is getting so violent a lot of gas stations are closing here at night.

Michele sent me here, Carmi - I love this photo...
cq

HRH Courtney, Queen of Everything said...

It makes me think the picture is 20 years older than it is, because of the car in the shot.

Sara said...

Hello, Michele sent me this time...the photo sort of sends chills down my spine. It just seems so desolute and lonely! I don't think I would stop there if I were alone!

It has a kind of Alfred Hitchcock feel to it...

ChaCha said...

Carmi, I am not commenting about your picture at this time, but I am going to make a little comment that you are my hero for your dial up advice!!! I am an uploading fool now. Come over and take a looksie! You are the best bud.

Biddie said...

My first thought was - this looks like a scary movie set. You know, where the crazed maniac comes at you out of the shadows, waving a knife/axe/deformed hand?
My second thought was - cool car.

craziequeen said...

I came back to have another look at this soulful picture of a soulless place......

ooh, cool - that's mine and Michele's offering!

Soulful picture of a soulless place.

:-))

cq

Tiel Aisha Ansari said...

Hopper- "Nighthawks", but in black and white.

Actually (this is my second thought), it's odd- because I associate gas stations with _bright_ colors. The logos and all the merchandise tend to be labelled in highly saturated colors, so even at night the overall impression is eye-achingly colorful. Seeing a gas station in B&W (which is a rare style of photography nowadays) makes me feel sort of time-slipped, as though I were watching an old movie.

Gabriel said...

Hi, Carmi, thanks for dropping by, I liked your blog very much. I had been there a few times before, and I never realized you were so close to home! :-)

I hope you're OK, I'm going to add your blog to my blogroll.

Beverly said...

My first thought was that photos don't capture the dirt and grime. It reminds me of pictures I took in Haiti which looked so "glamorous" here because you couldn't smell the odors or hear all the sounds surrounding the situation.

Robin said...

First thought?

"In the still of the night..."

I could "hear" the quiet....glad it served as more than just a night light for you.

Ivy said...

Michele sent me.. I dislike gas stations. I dread going to one.

Joan said...

Especially with the B&W approach & older-model car, I saw it as a little nostalgic: a throwback to when times were simpler.