Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Juxtaposition

"Juxtaposition." Technoprairie nominated this word as a title for the blog, and I liked it so much I decided to post this photo which always makes me think of "juxtapostion." It's as though Technoprairie is writing the blog for me.

I took this photo in Chicago. But surely you knew that already because what other town has such large streetlamps and such tiny people? The huge streetlamps are necessary so you can see the people before you step on them. Clumsy as I am, however, I can't tell you how many of their little people I crushed. Nothing short of tragic.

Photos are meant for effect, right? Still, I have resisted posting this photo because clearly it's gimmicky--a trait I'm obviously not above using but which I like to use only sparingly. (And by "sparingly" you must be thinking I mean "every time.") Gimmicky photos are fun (think "Life" Magazine) because they juxtapose two or more items in a way that distorts our mental construct of their "natural" relationship with one another--but it does so in a delightful way. Gimmicky photos appeal to whimsy and imagination. But truth be told, gimmicky photos are super easy to find or create. In contrast, I've found that taking a photo that's interesting, challenging to the viewer, and compelling (if not beautiful) to look at is virtually the impossible quest.

The problem must be my camera. Yes, definitely my camera.

Which reminds me of the story of how when Albrecht Durer was onced asked by a visiting painter what kind of unusual paintbrush he uses to paint such exquisitely fine lines, he randomly grabbed one of his brushes from his collection and immediately began to paint those exquisite lines.

So maybe the problem isn't my camera. Maybe the problem is....

No.

It's the camera.

2 comments:

Jenni.mystery said...

So those are window washers in the background, right? I can't concentrate with the Michael Phelps hangover I have.

Michael B said...

yep, they're window washers. was the michael phelps hangover on account of the michael phelps high you had? what is he up to already? five golds??

amazing.