There is a game that I find myself often playing with my camera lately. I think of it as Literal and Figurative. The rules are quite simple, but if you are inclined to play yourself, consider yourself forewarned. It can become a bit addictive.
When struck with a scene I feel compelled to photograph, I first take a picture accurately, representing the image in a straightforward, literal manner, and then make another photograph of the same subject, from the same perspective, but which represents the scene in a more abstract fashion.
My aim is for the first image to be a rather accurate representation of how my eyes process the scene, and for the second image to almost flow through me – to make a picture of how the scene feels.
Sometimes the abstraction is an inarticulate mess. Other times, as is the case with this pair of images overlooking the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, I was surprised to find that the abstraction made a much better representation of layers of city life revealed from my high vantage point than my more literal photograph.
If you play along, I would absolutely love it if you’d share your experiences, or better still your images. Here in the comments, or by hashtagging #viewfinders.io on Instagram.
Keep your eyes wide open,