Sunday, February 21, 2010

An obsession?

click photo to enlarge
Sometimes you have to be honest with yourself. You have to acknowledge your weaknesses. You have to face up to your obsessions and the fact that you have an unwholesome fixation. Today is my Tiger Woods moment, my time to come clean and admit that I have a compulsion that leads me to ... photograph public seating.

Where this comes from I don't really know, but if I was to place the blame anywhere (rather than on myself that is) it would be on seaside promenades. I first got hooked at Blackpool in Lancashire. When I went further up the coast to Morecambe I found I couldn't escape the dependency. Even a relocation to Lincolnshire on the other side of the country didn't allow me to elude my desire to make images of street furniture, and I found myself photographing examples in Heckington and Sleaford. Like everyone who has such a craving I thought I could kick the habit. It was only when, during a visit to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, I found myself spurning the photogenic marina and further shots of interesting buildings old and new, and was focussing on a row of ridiculously uncomfortable stainless steel benches that I knew my problem was long term, and I needed to do something about it.

Today I take the first step in my rehabilitation. Instead of posting the original shot of the Wisbech benches for its own sake, I've included it only as the source image for today's colourful flight of fancy. This consists of the same image copied four times, rotated (and flipped), then coloured (with complementaries at opposite corners), all with the aim of turning the focus of my obsession into something quite different - a vibrant, symmetrical, radial pattern. I quite like it. The trouble is it has a sort of psychedelic feel to it, and is the sort of image that might have been projected as part of the light show at a concert by Traffic, Jefferson Airplane or some such 1960s rock band, and I wonder if I'm simply swapping one obsession for another. Don't know what I mean? See here, here and here!

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 16mm (32mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/1250
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On