A Momentary Moment

On Saturday I was taking photos for the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin or the LCB for short. It was the annual Garden Party day held at their stately chalet at Wannsee. A day full of reading, music and good cheer that went off exceptionally well marred only by the occasional shower of rain. It was a wonderful day, but after a few hours of photographing literary luminaries, reading, chatting and sipping drinks in a beautiful garden setting my mind began to want a little more photographically.

 

Late in the afternoon I was taking a break and talking to the writer Milenko Goranovič when a beam of light speared into the room as the day faded, transforming an otherwise dully lit space into a visually exciting Hopper-like environment. Milenko, who I have photographed before took directions without dissent, thereby enabling me to get a couple of very nice images in the short envelope of time before a door was closed blocking out the light. You might say a modern version of the decisive moment, where I took advantage of a lighting opportunity and posed someone nearby for no other reason than that a creative moment existed momentarily.

 

24-70mm, f2.8, 1/30sec ISO400.

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Image

Night Train

Night Train

I find it extremely interesting to watch the changing styles of my posts, and the manner in which everyday life influences the appeal of different photographs.
Today’s post is a good example of this.
When I set out to shoot some night pictures I was reasonably sure the results would end up as monochrome images. That was the plan, but in contrast to this mode of thinking all the pictures from this evening are much better as colour images – the opposite of what I was thinking last week about colour urban images.
In this image, where the isolation of the woman and man is the center of interest, I would venture that it’s the graphic coloured squares and lines that not only draw the eye to these people but also serves to delineate and separate them from the other passengers, making them alone despite the presence of others.
I like metaphors, so the positioning of everybody in clearly defined areas, both within the frame as well as the train, and a door to escape/leave that no one is using comments on modern society. We are separate and alone even in a crowded environment, but it’s where we feel safe and protected so nobody is anxious to leave.
A great many of my photographs reference painters and this one is no exception. Hopper could be cited as an influence, as could Jeffery Smart.
It looks good small on the screen, but is much better large.

50mm, f1.8, 1/13sec, ISO100