Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The point of interest

If I had a panorama photograph of the location from which I took this image it would show the point where the River Wyre enters the Irish Sea, the town of Fleetwood with its lighthouses, people, and a big ferry tied up at the quay. Up the river would be many small boats bobbing on the rising tide. A white painted cottage and a further row of cottages would be seen lining the shore to my left. And near them, a golf course, club house and car park. A scene of relative quiet, yet tremendously active and colourful. Oh, and you'd see these four men launching their boat from the Knott End slipway near a Coastguard station.

Why, out of all the possible photographs that I could have made, did I make this one? Well, that's the beauty of photography isn't it? It trains your eye to to look at the sum of parts that make the whole: to be selective, and to see compositions within compositions. What I saw here was a point of human interest made visually interesting by virtue of being surrounded by (virtually) visual nothingness - if you see what I mean! The eye is drawn to the central silhouette because there is little competing interest. Apart from the vehicle, boat and men, only the upright of the light, the distant hill of Black Combe, and the slipway make assertive contributions. The blue of sea and sky are the undemonstrative backdrop to the scene. Sometimes, it's true, "less is more".
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen