Friday, October 14, 2011

Driven to abstraction (2)

Following on from Wednesday's post, here are some more representative examples of my recent photography. I excuse any technical shortcoming by pointing out that I am currently without PhotoShop or a proper digital SLR.  I finally gave up on my dire D50 a few months ago and and sold it; so, these are all taken with a happy snapper - a Casio Exilim - which allows me little or no direct control over lighting, focus, depth of field (I have, through much trial and error, developed a knack for occasionally tricking it into doing what I want, but the control options are utterly bloody useless).

With China's low concern for maintenance, I find the profusion of decay on doors and walls and windows to be a particularly fertile source of inspiration.

That, and the bizarre little stencilled or handwritten advertisements you see everywhere. Who knows what these people are touting? I think I'm happier not knowing.

Peeling paintwork is a particular favourite of mine.

And ragged fly posters.

Put them all together, and....

And then here's an inexplicable streetside 'sculpture' that many of my modern artist friends would be proud of (not a very good photo, but a fascinating object!).

Grime, too, has an irresistible allure for me.

And finally - mirrors. Mirrors above a doorway seem to be quite a common custom in certain parts of China. I don't know what the tradition or superstition behind that may be. Perhaps there's a feeling that catching a glimpse of your own face may revive the moral conscience, that prospective burglars and other malefactors may be deterred from their nefarious enterprise by looking into their own eyes for a second. Or maybe it's supposed to nurture the irrational notion "If you can see yourself, perhaps others can see you." Maybe that's a quirk of human psychology that could be exploited even before the advent of CCTV cameras; now it gains added force from the thought that this might be a one-way mirror concealing a security camera. [And yes, this is about as close as I ever get to a self-portrait.]

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