Distraction or Attraction

October 29, 2015  •  1 Comment

A key lesson in photography is one of avoiding distractions in our images, which is not always easy, and without compensatory actions one can end up with a snapshot.  On the other hand, a diversion in a sterile scene can "make" an image.

In this example, I was driving a traffic circle at the Duke University Medical Center, waiting for my son to exit from his night shift, when I spotted this covered walkway.  Recognizing its image potential, I stopped the car, grabbed the camera and left the engine running and the door open.  With emerging sunlight at my left and some careful metering and positioning, I had a series of images - all symmetrical and as sterile as a Duke operating room.  A crumpled beer can would have enlightened the scene.  Then, THEN, as I was about to leave, a man appeared and sat on a bench.  A human, a bent and rumpled form, in a scene of converging lines! A gift of serendipity!

I converted the image to black and white without adding contrast that would have brought out unwanted shadows in the concrete.  The man's form in the starkness was the needed diversion and contrast.  He "upset" the scene; otherwise, I would have discarded the images.  



Jean Edwards Carr(non-registered)
Know this scene very well, walk it often! And just down the hill across the road is an entrance to the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens where I spent many years as director of development !
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