Thursday, October 22, 2009


Cleveland pier. This was the grayest freakin' day you could imagine. Bizarrely, oppressively, unsettlingly gray. Man it was gray. And, as my family would readily attest, I made note of this fact, ahem, "several" times.

So gray.

To capture the spirit of the day, I turned these photos into black and white photos. Both are depressing, I think, but one is more bleak than the other and better captures the spirit of the weather. What I'm interested in is whether we agree. The only difference in the two photos is the field of focus.

Tell me: Which is the more depressing of the two photos, top or bottom?

Let a brother know.

My answer: My answer is that I'm a complete bozo. I have the artistic convictions of a roulette wheel. I spin round and round and what you get depends upon where I've landed at the moment. So when I originally posted these, I thought the bottom photo was significantly more depressing. However, when I looked at them again the next day, my feelings had shifted. Originally the "chainness" of the lower picture was defining, and as such it simply connoted restrictions for me. However, after a day, that image has a far more abstract, less literal, feel to it to me, and now it's just a composition. The top photo, in contrast, originally did point my eye further out, opening up the space. But Julie L has influenced me here. I do now see the horizon line on the bottom photo as an escape, whereas the top photo completely tethers the viewer to all this damnable grayness. So when I posed the question, bottom. But now, top.

Don't hate me. At least for this.


justcurious said...

Alright, mister. I think you think it's the bottom one. But it's the top. Yessir, it is.

Anonymous said...


The top. The clarity makes the imagery all the more in yo' face.

shinigami-sidhe said...


Technoprairie said...

The bottom is more depressing. At least in the top one, you can see where the chain is attached and there might be something beyond it. But the bottom photo has no such hope. It is nothing but gray and meaningless chains.

Great, now I'm depressed. Guess I'll have to watch a musical now and get myself back to my usual happy self. Or maybe listen to some bluegrass. You can't be depressed when you are listening to bluegrass.

Julie said...

Though I feel like my choice is not the one I'm "supposed" to choose, I think the top photo is more depressing. Two reasons:
1. the horizon line. something about the stronger contrast in the water to sky line on the bottom picture feels less oppressive.
2. The post "thingy". In the top photo has a strong presence and the chain is a large diagonal that is firmly grounded. To me, feels much more restrictive. On the bottom photo, this (technical word here)"thingy" is blurred and leaves an exit. To me, the focus on one link in the foreground of the bottom photo makes the chain less "heavy".
Not sure if this makes sense to anyone but me...
Oh well, you asked for it.

Andy D. said...

BOTH are depressing. And, my God, gray.... So congrats on that!

Ok ok. The second is more depressing because the future (further away parts of the photo) are fuzzy and unclear and uncertain...

Steven Taylor said...

It's the bottom.

Although neither depresses me as much as you want them to. I actually like both shots.

Andy D. said...

So what is the answer, oh King Depressor?? We want to see if you got it correct.


Michael B said...

I've provided my answer (at least for now) on the original post.