Monday, May 20, 2013

The Picture Within the Picture

 Colin Advocates for Wind, 2013
(Click on images to see larger)

I’ve said it here before many times that sometimes the pictures you set out to take when you go out to take pictures don’t turn out to be the ones you most value from that day.
I keep saying this because, well, it’s true. Unless you’re out on a specific assignment, and sometimes even if you’re out on a specific assignment, unexpected opportunities will present themselves to you and you’d be a fool to ignore them. (Unless, of course, a client is hanging over your shoulder and you have to play nice.)
I went down to the beach the other morning to take a walk. There were several events taking place along the boardwalk and on the beach. The first was a vintage car club show. A vintage car show wouldn’t normally draw me. But since they were there and some of the cars were very colorful I wandered up and down the boardwalk taking pictures of pieces of cars.
The second thing I hadn’t realized was going on this weekend was what I could only call an “Aging White People’s Beach Music Festival.” There was a show band that did covers of everything from Otis Redding to the Beach Boys. The audience was mostly pudgy, gray haired Baby Boomers. I didn’t stop to photograph them. I know what pudgy, gray haired Baby Boomer looks like.
It wasn’t until I got up to 31st Street and looked out onto the beach and saw a group of people lined up holding hands in front of a line of big pinwheels than I remembered that the local Sierra Club chapter was sponsoring a local observance of the Hands Across the Sand. Hands is a demonstration in favor of wind power over offshore drilling for oil, something our current governor and his aspiring Republican successors aspire to do tout suite.
I walked out on the beach to get a closer view. There were 30-40 people and they were very enthusiastic about their cause. Every few minutes, if he sensed they were losing energy, one of the participants would run up and down the line and have everyone make a wave.   
To be honest, they didn’t make a very photogenic group. There were too many visual distractions and I didn’t have a long lens when me to do anything interesting with forced perspective.
When I got home and started going through the day’s shots, the Hands Across the Sand images were the last ones I reviewed. They just weren’t interesting.
Then I happened to look into one of the pictures and found that there was a single man at the end of the line whose posture and energy were interesting. I cropped him out of the shot to separate him from the rest of the line and then cropped the image even further to cut out the irrelevant parts of the image. Fortunately, shooting digital images in RAW format results in such large files that you can crop down to even a very small piece of the larger image and still have something that reproduces well.
Sometimes it’s not only not the picture you set out to take, and not the picture you ended up with that interests you. It’s the picture within the picture you didn’t intend to make that’s interesting.
Here’s the original.
Hands Across the Sand/Virginia Beach, 2013

1 comment:

  1. Hard to decide which I enjoy more, the picture within the picture, or, the story within the story… but with you, Chris, it's all good. Keep up your excellent work, thank you for sharing, and thank you for being you.