Traveling with a professional photographer has its perks. I get to use fabulous hand-me-down cameras and I have a most astute technical advisor on hand.
It’s got some drawbacks, too. A few years back, I’d started to adopt Dave’s eyes and to automatically see the world through his frame of reference. The problem was: I found myself all too tempted to copycat his compelling visual language whenever I was behind a camera. Most people would see that as a blessing, but we found we were competing for the same spot of ground everywhere we went. There always seemed to be one most-logical place to stand to capture that perfect image and Dave got there first.
I’d have to find my own photographic niche. So I started capturing images of what lies beneath the surface. I became fascinated by the reflections that dance off metal, glass, and water.
In this pursuit, I’ve combed cities throughout the US and Europe in search of reflections that tell a story. I seek to capture the essence of each city I visit and mark its place in time.
I hope that when we look back at these images in years to come, we’ll know intuitively “that was Madrid in the ’90s” or “Dublin in the early part of the new millennium.” We’ll be able to learn something of history, of the city, and of ourselves in the image’s details.
For me, this hobby never grows old. Each shop window becomes a full-length motion picture, revealing to me layer upon layer of time and of social reality. Every puddle and each car fender provides a kaleidoscope of vibrant images waiting to be discovered. In the blink of an eye or the subtle shift of the lens, a reflection can transform completely.
My camera captures what the eye sees but the mind generally ignores: the fleeting images that inform our understanding of the world without us even realizing they are there.
Below, I’ve posted the first of the Dublin Reflections I will share with you on this blog. This particular image is quite straightforward. I hope it will be very easy for you to untangle the layers, determine what it “is,” and decide for yourself what it means. There are far more challenging visual puzzles to come….
I selected this particular reflection to share with you today because I think it does a nice job summing up my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. It was taken in Dublin in March 2011.
Cultivate Living and Learning (Copyright Shannon Chance, March 2011)