I love to take photographs of people through windows. The reason is that often the reflections of the area the window looks out on creates a wonderful cacophony that gets added to the image. This is a good example of that. These folks are lined up in the window of a place called the Clover Food Lab. They look out at the entrance to Harvard Yard. The result I would contend is a dizzying dance of reality that hovers between the real and the abstract.
I often walk down Winter Street in Boston on my way to buy groceries. Often there are young people along the building edges who are clearly under the influence of mood altering substances. It’s tragic to see them and they have gotten so common that I really don’t like taking their picture. I took this zoned out kid though because of the sign next to him.
To my mind this image is a lucky joining of personal emotion with an interesting background. This young man was sitting quietly on a bench outside of a local real estate agent. His downtrodden face seemed jarringly at odds with the pictures inside. I liked that dissonance.
These reflected/see-through window images can become almost dream like. This lady reading in the coffee shop window is surrounded by things that make little sense yet seem to somehow emanate from the page she is reading.
My wife is really the birder. I tag along taking pictures. This is a black-necked stilt admiring its reflection. I love the red legs.
My blog’s name comes from a little shallow man-made pond that sits in the middle of Boston Common. In the winter it’s used as a skating rink and in the summer it’s a wading pool. Right now we are between skating and wading so the pond is drained, except for a rather lange puddle right in the middle of it. This shallow sheet of water made for a fine mirror yesterday as it reflected the tops of the trees surrounding it.
The painterly quality of this photo is the result of 2 things. First, is the wonderful red clothing and shoes she is wearing and second, because she is standing in a film of water at the bottom of a large shallow pond, the reflections of the surrounding environment adds a vibrant swatch of color across the center of the image playing off the red beautifully.
All of the above sounds like I saw this potential before I hit the shutter button. Truth be told this photo was sitting in my discard folder and it was just lucky I saw its potential before I deleted it.
The moral of all this is we should let our work “marinate” for a while. With time we just might see things we missed the first time around.
So much of what we take as real is only a shadow or reflection of something else. The key to cutting down on at least some of this clutter is to spend some time just watching our mind make up stuff to worry about.
How do we do that?
(By the way, this photograph is of a wall of the Boston Museum of Fine Art, a place just loaded with shadows and reflections.)
This photograph was somehow inspired by the recent death of the brilliant writer Oliver Sacks. Dr. Sacks had a poetic way of making the brain’s impaired permutations understandable and even quite lovely.
The image started out 180 degrees the other way and looking more or less monochromatic. An ordinary reflection of a Maine pier. I bashed it around in Lightroom and Nik andeventually came up with this version. It’s not “realistic” but somehow I think the good doctor might approve.