Take Five

282-36279-12286-20 269-22 275-07 288-06… get six! Picking my favourite pictures made in 2012 was not easy to begin with. After I had finally narrowed the choice down, I realized I love thinking in pairs: Are there combinations that work better than others, juxtapositions I would check out were I to put together an exhibition? I think there are … and then Number 5 begged to be paired with an additional picture – hence the extra.

Why this choice? What do I like about these pictures? Scrolling through them there is one thing I realize to my own surprise: Though I see something abstract in all of them, they all seem to contain stories (which I leave for you to figure out).

The pictures were taken travelling England, Germany, and the Netherlands. Top to bottom: Kranzplatz Playground, Wiesbaden, Germany; Alfriston Clergy House, England; Port of Hamburg, Germany; beach near Westkapelle on Walcheren, Netherlands; Charmouth, England; and just up the street from our place in Wiesbaden. They are my entry for this week’s photo challenge.

A Hat, a Coat and …

Light filtering through the vapours from the hot springs and wells of this city, the old buildings being reflected in a spill of water, sudden sunbeams hitting walls and floor of a narrow courtyard: Sometimes the daily vistas assume a touch of foreignness. Seeing these moments is all we have to do as photographers.

This idea formed in a discussion with Judith Bruder (see here) who nudged me to participate in this week’s photo challenge: Thank you, Judith! The picture shows the shadow cast by a statue. And while the chap originally looks amiable enough, his shadow reminds me of Philip Marlowe, who had “a hat, a coat, and a gun” – which accounts for the title.

Le città e il gioco. 1.

It cannot be known what Italo Calvino would have told us about the cities and the game in his novel Le città invisibili (Invisible Cities).

Would he have thought of strange objects defining particular spaces within the urban space? Would he have mentioned architects devising structures that seem to defy any sense of purpose? Would he have noticed that the seeming absence of rationality follows its own rules – rules that lie at the basis of an invitation to explore, dig, swing, or climb?

And what – if anything – would he have related about the inhabitants of these cities who so willingly accept these invitations at a certain age? Could he have said that those who are past that age just turn a blind eye at the cities’ appeal because they are afraid they, too, would willingly submit to it?

[In a certain ironic way, taking a camera to a playground, you do not have to be ashamed of being caught playing.]

Adolfsallee, Wiesbaden