13 June 2007

Mystery photo: Form and texture

Sorina asked me to bring back the long neglected mystery photo feature. I just realized while posting this photo that it kind of fits the bill. But it also provides material for a brief lesson in composition. Two of the elements of visual design that contribute to interesting photographs are form and texture. This photograph displays both of them. I find it endlessly interesting to run my eye over the curves in this...whatever it is. What part of a tree do you think it is? It looks like one of those "impossible figure" optical illusions to me.


Sørina Higgins said...

Um, the roots? Yes, it looks like M. C. Escher, doesn't it? Especially in the monochrome palette--could be an etching.

Rosie Perera said...

To be honest, Admonit, I cannot remember. I know it was above ground, and it was upright like this (I turned the camera to portrait mode), as you can tell from the fact that there's green (trees/leaves) in the background above the more tan or brown-colored ground and ground cover. But I am as puzzled as you are about how the root or branch (whichever this is) could join back up with the trunk of the tree again after splitting off.

This is an instance of not having remained present in the moment long enough when I was setting up to take the photo. I didn't study the context. I was attracted to this part of it and snapped the photo too quickly and went off with my prize. Much like tourists do when they don't even look at the subject they are photographing (I remember standing behind a bunch of Japanese folks at the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace; they were too short to see what was going on, but they had their cameras held high above their heads to record the event; that kind of epitomizes tourist photographic behavior to me). I'm feeling pretty sheepish about not remembering the context. Maybe I can use the excuse that I'm getting ever closer to the time in life when people's memories start getting foggy anyway. But regardless, it's a good lesson for all of us. Context matters.


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