Thursday, January 25, 2007

what is it in a window?

dust at dusk (by ~ fernando)

«dust at dusk»

I think everyone has come to the annoying situation in trying to take a photo of a landmark (or a subject of interest), and there are signs in the way, . One idea I had in the past was to make the painted sign the main feature, with the object of desire as a prop (equal or lesser to the sign), or just compose with the road sign in it.

Something similar here. I got rid of the room's reflection in the window, and could do the same with the dust outside. However, the time of day was near sunset and the dust in the window was actually "sparkly." It was not a matter of capturing the dust's hue, but just thinking of it as "grain" -- very sparse at that.

I had already experimented with "blurred in the lens" architecture photography, but here it was rather monolithtic, and not of great form. However, it seemed to work when considering the sky's cloud formation, and of course, the dust being lit up.

There were various focal points that would blur the dust on the window, as was done in the sunset image from the same view point. Instead, this image makes the dust the principal protagonist, when you look up close. Reflections from the sunlight made the dust bright and so came the idea to photograph the dust, and just pick a background. In this case, the Bank of America building/monolith in the Financial District in San Francisco.

One aspect of the exporure to so many photographs in flickr is that, even when they are excellent in all aspects, one can see similarities between so many images. For instance, if it was raining, then this image would be one of so many -- 1086 images on flickr with the {water, window, drops} tags -- and the benefit would be (1) a different scene and (2) an emotional familiarity that is associated with these kind of images.

Now, how many people will have an emotional attachment to a dirty window? The implication to this image is that, while not part of that set of raindrops-on-the-window motif, the person seeing the image may have to work harder, and the blurred background's importance is important. I think it offers a way for the individual's imagination to settle into what they feel a lot faster and perhaps even engage the photo, rather than providing a infinite depth-of-field that tells the whole story and there is a nice "wow" moment if they like it. This is not too different to the sunset image linked above. Notice how a search with {window, dust} does not turn up the same type of images that are prevalent in the first search: the first search has the same image over and over again, with the differing blurred background, but in the case of dust, it is about taking a step back and showing how dirty the window is, or that it has dust in it, but the dust is not the only thing in focus. Just peruse through a few pages.