After a few days thought I realized that the images I presented in the original set were basically, well, CRAP! I created a set of photographs that, I thought, would work in the theme of landscape photography and maybe I succeeded, however, they are really not what I am about. They were taken in the middle of the city, but I hid that fact to create a kind of odd countrification.
I LIVE IN A CITY AND I LOVE THE PLACE!
Munich excites me visually, there is so much happening in the brick, concrete, steel and glass that surrounds me every day of my life. These are places that people inhabit, that they call home or work, this is a used and very much loved place. There is also, as in all cities, a dark side, dereliction, crime, graffiti, abuse. Contrasts abound between light and dark, colour floods the streets. And yet, I went out and created a bunch of photographs that celebrated some kind of pastoral landscape inside the city.
This morning after a couple of sleepless hours I went out with my camera, a 16-35mm lens (16 is the end of value here) and walked up and down 3 or 4 streets all within 10 minutes walk of my front door. My goal, simply to capture the essence of the streets and the buildings that define them, but constrained into a 3:1 letterbox frame. My task to frame the usual in an unusual fashion, to draw attention to the part of the photograph I want it to be.
As I have mentioned in previous posts I am drawn to strong symmetries, particularly horizontal ones, I find great harmony in photographs that contain straight lines linking the left and right sides of the frame. Before I headed out this morning I spent some time looking at Andreas Gursky Works 80 - 08 and inparticular the photograph on pages 176-177 "Rhein II 1999". This is a very simple shot of a flat river bounded by grass and in the foreground a footpath. The horizon is blank and I am pretty sure this is heavily manipulated as are many of his more recent works. However, there is such strength in the colours and simple structure. I wanted to create something similar.
I am not going to comment individually on these photographs, all were taken in the space of an hour, all are 16mm on a full frame camera, each has been cropped to a 3:1 ratio. In most I have deliberately left out the sky, I want the city streets to exhibit their inherent claustrophobia. At least one of these might make it into my first assignment, they speak of summer in the city, but in very subtle ways, such as the flowers on the balconies. I am not looking for drama or bold colour, simply a record of the parallel lives people live in the city grid.
The final shot is the best, the left to right lines define the image, the greens sit well on the grey, it was raining so the grass is shining brightly. The hint of the cyclist passing through places some life in the image, and yes I did wait until he was at the center to preserve the symmetry.