Minimalist photography in an unexpected place
On a rainy morning back in June, I had a service appointment at my dealership in Amherst. I sat in the waiting room for a bit, but when the service department informed me that the work would be taking a while longer, I decided to go out for a walk. When I realized I’d left my camera in the car, I thought of leaving it behind but then changed my mind and asked the service attendant to retrieve it.
The rain had changed to drizzle, but the sky was still overcast.
On a few occasions during my stroll, I was distracted by nearby stores and reminders of errands on my to-do list, but ultimately, I decided those could wait.
Moments later, the white light posts in the shopping mall’s parking lot caught my eye. There was something about how they virtually blended into the overcast sky. For the next 15 minutes or so, in front of a few curious onlookers, I spun around the parking lot looking for vantage points that would make interesting images.
My first attempts resulted in grouping a few light posts together. Then I noticed the dark edge running across the top of the building and tried incorporating it into a few images. That, along with the textured wall in some of the pictures, added some interesting contrast.
Then I tried framing the edge differently. I especially liked the one below. The way the black line ends abruptly before reaching the right edge of the frame conjures up a certain feeling of uneasiness; of something unresolved.
Then I incorporated a darker light post among a couple of lighter ones and rather enjoyed the dissonance brought on by the dichotomy.
Finally, I tried more groupings from various perspectives, such as in the image at the very top. I liked how the height of each post seemed staggered in comparison to some of the other images where the series of posts would seem to get progressively taller or shorter.
Although subtly, with the sun’s intensity increasing through the clouds, the natural lighting conditions changed rapidly in that short span of time. It’s apparent when you look at the tone of the white light posts in the various pictures compared to the background, which I tried to keep consistent when selecting my exposure settings. In some images, the posts tend more towards a darker grey.
Walking back to the dealership to pick up my car, I couldn’t help but think: what if I hadn’t bothered to bring along my camera? And, what if I’d been sidetracked by shopping instead of exploring just a little bit longer?
And while writing this issue of the newsletter, I was reminded of a previous one where I shared a triptych of lamp posts I’d captured in Wolfville, NS and of yet more photographs of light posts that I took a couple of weeks ago that I’ll likely share with you in due time. But why this fascination with light posts? I’ll need to think about it.
Until next time, keep enjoying this summer!
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