Monday, February 12, 2007

A Perspective Of Solitude

I started the blog simply to document my life and my photography, but to some extent it's morphed mostly into a collection of environmental self-portraits. The majority of them are taken with that fantastic little 15mm Heliar lens with its 110 degree angle of coverage. In my earlier work I made an attemp to keep the camera level to minimize the distortion but lately I've been shooting from various viewpoints with a tilted camera, and that causes the sharply converging lines and the appearance of the buildings leaning in impossible directions.

Now I can achieve effects that I could only imagine forty years ago when I bought a 19mm Canon lens for my Leicas, the widest rectilinear lens then available. Over the years I've tried using fish-eye lenses but the curved rendition always looked too artificial, too impossible. With this lens the rendition is more like an odd cockeyed view of reality rather than the unreality of fish-eye lenses.

So here I am on the terrace outside of Starbucks, my coffee cup on the left, one umbrella appearing to shade the cup while the other seems to be over my head. They're really perhaps ten feet behind me. In the far distance, but only another ten feet in reality, two college students sit by themselves studying. The illusion of distance caused by the wide angle perspective accentuates the feeling of apartness, increasing the space seperating those of us sitting there. Everybody is alone.

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