23 June 2008

The Textural Effect

Rain Change
In the middle distance a cyclist puts on her Danefæ rain jacket. On the right, a chap struggles to get his jacket on before the rain increases and/or the lights change. On the left, a Copenhagener quite unaffected by it all. Looking casual and lovely and ready to pedal away on green.

As you may have noticed I happen to take photos of my fellow Copenhageners on or next to their bicycles. Quite a few, actually. A few of them end up on this blog.

Naturally, I like each photo that makes it to this blog or to my Flickr photostream. I'm a photographer, after all. Occasionally, however, I will present photos that are most interesting in a journalistic persepective - showing people what a bicycling life is like in Copenhagen. Photos that won't make the cut in an exhibition on the subject but which are valid for telling this ongoing visual story.

Occasionally I am lucky enough to take a photo that thrills me personally. There is rarely a specific reason for it. It just speaks to me, the viewer, in a specific, personal tone. The photo above, taken last week, is one of these rare photos for me.
Rainy Day Moods
Another photo that I can't seem to forget.
In my Danish daily newspaper of choice, Politiken, the Photo Editor Per Folkver has a weekly column about photography. I translated a bit of his musings from yesterday:

"What is the textural effect in a flat photograph? Is it that you sense the elasticity of the skin as though the person was standing in front of you? That you feel the water's cool blueness as though you were submerged in it? Or isn't it really that the person in the photograph radiates closeness and prescence to such a degree that the photograph becomes more than merely a photograph of a person?

Is the textural effect in a photograph when the photograph's own form erases itself as form and applies its own message and story? In other words, becoming invisible as a photograph but present as an assertion.

A photograph can't, of course, become invisible - then it isn't a photograph. But when you see a photo that you like, you shouldn't think "Wow! That's a lovely photograph!" - you should think "Wow! Is there ever a lot of energy in those people!" - or whatever the subject matter happens to be."

Another favourite.
Sometimes you dear readers will comment on a photo and say that it is your favourite so far, or something like that. I am more often than not surprised by these choices, but as long as something tickles you in a photograph, I'm thrilled to death.

Feel free to comment on which photographs, so far, you remember above all others. I'd love to hear about it.


Somanìa said...

Hi zakk; I remember a photo that I won`t forget: a mum riding a cargo bike whith grandma and daughter, 3 generations on a bike. I don`t remember the day you posted.
And I would like to comment the photo (today posted) that show a girl whith an umbrella. Look the way she takes the bike and the umbrella, she looks natural, but she`s crossing the left arm to take the bike. Try to do it and sure you fell.ja ja

Colville-Andersen said...

cool, mate. The cargo bike photo is here.

i catch myself holding my bike with the 'wrong' hand when talking on the phone or something. strange, but it still works.

Michael said...

I know exactly which one it is - it's the one you described as a "dapper chap" - a younger man riding the black traditional bicycle with his bag hanging on one side. He's wearing a cap and you can't see his face.

I saw that photo and all my autumn bicycling memories came flooding to mind.

AMR said...

Great photography.
Also, I showed your site to a few friends and one of them is now discussing with his partner a plan to move to Copenhagen.

almafuerte(strong soul),
It is indeed a great shot, thanks for bringing it up.


Colville-Andersen said...

lovely, lovely. thanks so much, you two.