Friday, April 15, 2011

Same View. Different Eyes.

Same View. Different Eyes. 2011

Sometimes I see things I want to photograph, but I’m not sure how I’ll want to present them.

Take the picture above. I was walking down the street near the beach on a sunny afternoon and happened to look up and notice the colorful horizontal lines on the wall of an otherwise ugly parking deck. There was no story to these lines. I just thought they might make an interesting graphic statement. I could easily see this image enlarged and hung on the wall of a house with sterile white walls. It would be just the thing someone would want to bring a little warmth to a cold contemporary house.

What I didn’t want, though, was for this to be a photograph of a parking deck. That led to the second treatment, the blurry one. If you’ve spent much time at this blog, you know I’m nothing if not nutty about blurring things up until they become about the shapes and colors rather than the actual things they are.

So there you have two different views of the same thing. I find the literal version on the left to be a one-hit pleasure. It might catch your eye the first time you saw it, just as it caught my eye the day I saw it. But would I enjoy walking by it time after time if it were hung in my house? Probably not. The colors are bigger and bolder. But straight lines are so definite. Once you’ve seen them you’ve seen all there is to see.

Would I, on the other hand, enjoy walking by the blurry version time after time again? I think I might. Blurry lines are less definite. They blend together. You never know what’s lurking in them. They hold opportunity. An imaginative person can see different things each time this picture is viewed.

But that's just my eyes. Our brains want to straighten lines and make the indistinct distinct. So I wonder whether someone else looking at a blurry picture that I like might instead become nauseous when confronted by something that so purposely defies the mind's natural inclination to make order of it.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. My right eye is already trying to clear the blurry one so I'll have to go with the one on the left...which I like better anyway :)