17 December 2006

Neighborhood glow

I've been influenced lately by Paul Butzi's photographs of the ordinary in the Snoqualmie Valley where he lives. I am trying to do a bit of what he does, to develop my eye. This is the view out my back window in my new house, taken at dusk. I look out on a rather unattractive alley, with telephone lines, dumpsters, the backs of the buildings on the main business drag one street over from me. And yet, some people have made this lane their home, and have made it look welcoming. And there's also the tip of a snow-capped mountain just peeking over the rooftops towards the left of the photo. I didn't edit out the telephone wires, as I could have easily with Photoshop. I wanted to show the realness of the scene, and how there can be a sense of warmth and comfort in the midst of what one might otherwise write off as ugly.

I like this photo for a couple of other reasons. First, the colors. Orange and blue are opposites on the color wheel, and their contrast is pleasing in a photograph or painting. Second, the composition. The central point of interest (the warm welcoming glow of someone's front entry way) is at one of the "Rule of Thirds" intersection points, and the "cross" of my window gives it some context. I could also give some trite theological interpretation of it, about how the cross puts a seal of God's blessing on the scene, as if to say "yes, Christ died even for these back alley dwellers." But I will refrain. :-) I don't like gratuitous theologizing.

No guesses on the mystery photo from Wednesday yet, so I won't give the answer yet. I don't have Internet access in my new house yet, and won't until Dec 21, so I'm limited to Internet cafes for the time being. I probably won't post again until I'm online at home.

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