Sunday, April 13, 2008

Squares and Rectangles

I made this image of the Carneceria down the street from us yesterday while I was out photographing Tiendas. I was really more interested in the inside of the Carneceria but the owner told me that he had just spent a lot of money having the carved dark cantera marco (frame) put around the entry of his shop and he wanted me to be sure to photograph it. So I backed up enough to get it all in the frame. It wasn't until I had processed and printed the image that I realized how strange the image felt. It feels like this space is a flat surface, like there is not any receding space. And the image is constructed of framed squares and rectangles. I don't think this is a keeper yet I keep going back to look at it and try to figure out exactly what is happening visually.

This is another image I made about two years ago with the Lensbaby lens. It does something similar in that it breaks up the image into geometric spaces but it doesn't feel like a flat surface. There is a feeling of receding space.

Stephen Shore in his book The Nature of Photographs writes:

When three-dimensional space is projected monocularly on to a plane, relationships are created that did not exist before the picture was taken. Things in the back of the picture are brought into juxtaposition with things in the front.

....a photographic image is two-dimensional. Because of this flatness, the depth of depictive space always bears a relationship to the picture plane. The picture plane is a field upon which the lens's image is projected. A photographic image can rest on this picture plane and, at the same time, contain an illusion of deep space.

The Carneceria doesn't have receding space and this emphasizes the geometric aspects of the image. When something strikes me as visually "different" I try to analyse what is happening within the frame. Maybe I need to be more aware of using this visual language in a knowingful way.

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