Posts tagged ‘blur’

May 5, 2016

A thought without a word

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A thought without a word
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February 7, 2013

Bleary-eyed in the stacks

I didn’t get enough rest last week. Finishing up photos for a client robbed me of some sleep, and I found the only way to concentrate on finalizing the project was to visit the library for a late-night editing session. I’ve never noticed anyone editing photos at the library before, come to think of it. As time was running out on my night and the announcements on closing became harrying and slightly more threatening, I decided to take a memoir from my exhausted evening.

I remember spending hours and hours at the library in college, but I could never concentrate there. Something about the total silence really bothered me. I realized I needed some ambient noise to stay on task, which I don’t think is that atypical. The sterile solitude made feet walking down a nearby stack that much more audible. The aircon kicking on and off became noticeable, and anticipated, and I would lose focus in a mundane textbook while timing-out the next switch. I’d get up and change places too often to settle into my work, as I’m a visual person and liked leaving my environment for a more interesting one. With so many places to find a likable spot the opportunities felt endless, and I was never satisfied with where I was. I think studying anywhere but the library might have been better for me.
Bleary-eyed in the stacks
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January 21, 2013

Hosta loop

Here’s another abstract-looking Hosta. It’s two of the dead and formerly-flowering stems beginning to curl back to earth after expending their worth to the plant. I took this in relatively early autumn after a shock of cold days. I think this might be hard to look at for some, but for me it was all about finding three points of focus. It’s an experiment, really; with so little space between the plant and the ground I wanted to see how well I could do this hand-held. The point was to get the stems to look like they were coming out of blur, not the ground. …Success? Sort of.
Hosta loop
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November 21, 2012

The pin in the middle and the melt away

Ever look at something for a split second and have it stick in your memory banks for hours? I was on my way to a train station with just seven minutes to spare before the next arrival and was almost past this pin when for some reason I glanced down almost backward at it while passing. In that shot of a glance I realized I’d looked down at it several times before, only this time the light was different. With the rain on the pavement the light kicked off really nice, and the pin stood black against it. It jumped out as a focal point, and I raced to set up and capture and still make the train. I did.

I remember thinking a long time ago about this. How your gaze or view with things relatively close to you – say, the distance of a wall in an average room – whatever you stare at is so sharp and crisp in focus while the rest blurs away. If I were a painter I’d paint everything in this way, with my focal point sharp and clear and everything else melting away from that point. It would be Rembrandt-like at the point and go from impressionistic to Jackson Pollack to the corners. Nobody’s ever done that, I think. You’d have to guess at the edges. It would be a complete mess.
The pin in the middle and the melt away
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September 27, 2012

Pointed planter

OK, it might be a fountain with a planter at the far end, but Pointed Planter is better than Pointed Fountain. I waited… and waited… and waited… and continued to wait for everyone to leave the area. It was high traffic time at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and a little middle-aged Chinese man even stood over my shoulder waiting to see what I was going to do here. I don’t mean he was a few feet away, I mean he was over my shoulder. I could hear him breathing. He didn’t ask a thing. He just got closer and stood there in great anticipation of what was to come. In the end, he may have been disappointed, because he didn’t say anything, backed up a few steps and whirled away. His wife gave me a head nod like “thank you” and followed him out the gate.
Pointed planter
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June 30, 2012

Sunset train stop

This is Cumberland. It’s one of the busy suburban L stops and might be the busiest on the blue line, but it’s actually in Chicago. The suburbs surround this area, so most commuters come from outside of Chicago. The top of the parking garage provides this view of the Kennedy expressway and the platform. A sunset makes this gritty place a bit more digestible in a photograph, but you can see the rust on the white facade of the station and crumbling rooftop on the covered walkway at the far left.
Sunset train stop
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