POTD: Corbusier #5

POTD: Corbusier #5Corbusier #5 Paris, France 2013

This is a very confusing image to view, even for me and I took the photo. It’s hard to tell exactly what you’re looking at. It is a mezzanine-like area shot from across a space that is open down to the main level in Maison La Roche. The lower half of the image is the short railing wall overlooking the lower level. The vertical line is the end of a black (or dark) divider wall separating a room on the left from an walkway along the wall on the right. I’m not sure if it was before or after the fact that I realized this composition is reminiscent of one of my favorite photos by the Hungarian photographer André Kertész:

Andre_Kertesz[12]Martinique André Kertész 1972

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8 thoughts on “POTD: Corbusier #5”

  1. Interesting comparison of photos that you point out. I like this series much better after viewing on your blog site, especially the previous low key abstracts. The thumbnail size on Facebook doesn’t do them justice at all, but do serve the purpose of pointing to the direction of your blog. I can imagine the actual prints are spectacular.

    1. Thanks Betty. Posting my photos to Facebook is a mixed blessing. It does get them more of an audience, but I know a lot of people (like yourself sometimes) just look at them on Facebook and don’t click through to the actual blog post. As you’ve noted, that is certainly not the best way to view them.

  2. Hi Larry,
    This photo has a different feel from the others, not just because it’s in color. (Did you try b&w?) I find the left upper corner a bit busy & distracting. When I covered it over with my hand, it seemed to strengthen the abstract shapes in the rest of the image. I’m not sure how I feel about the patch of light to the left of the vertical line. And FWIW, I did not have trouble looking at the photo….maybe I just have an “abstract” brain! 😉
    Kathy

    1. Kathy, you know my preferences well enough by now to know that of course I tried this image in b&w. It’s a rare situation when I don’t go to b&w first, although in this case I had a pretty good idea I would prefer the color version because I really like the richin blue color of the chair against the silver radiator and black background. As for the upper left corner of the image, you are correct covering it up (or changing it to a uniform color) strengthens the abstract quality of the image (making it very Mondrianesque). However I think having the more abstract portions of the image combined with the more recognizable (for want of a better word) upper left corner a(long with the recognizable chair and radiator of course) actually makes for a more interesting composition overall.

  3. I was confused for a couple of seconds before I noticed the top of the half wall and the lockset (?) on the divider- other than that I first thought it was odd to paste the other two photos on the top of a full page with the lower half blank! My eyes returned to the left room probably because it had “clues” (shadows) about the larger space that I tried to extrapolate information about the larger space. Examining Kerte`sz work I also seemed to spend a lot of time examining the disappearing view of the water between the railing of the railing. I suspect that Kerte`sz could be accused of using cloudy image/weather in grayscale to advantage. In your’s I really like the rich blue chrome black white composition.

    1. Steve, the reaction you has pretty much describes what my brain seems to do when I look at the image. Taking in tThe various clues scattered around the image finally produce something to satisfy the brain’s need to view it as a recognizable scene.Given what you said about Kertesz’s image, it made me wonder what it would look like in color–would it be a more interesting composition like I think mine is in color, or would it just destroy the visual confusion that makes the image so interesting in black and white.

  4. Enjoying all the comments/discussion this image has evoked! 🙂 I too like Kertesz’s image and I mentally play with the question of the shadowy figure. Is it a cast shadow from someone standing right of the frame? Or is it a figure seen through frosty glass to the left of the frame. I think I read somewhere that the second is the case, but I enjoy “flipping” back & forth between the two. It is the mysterious part of the image.
    I guess it’s just me, but I don’t find the mystery/disorientation in your image, Larry. Doesn’t mean it’s not successful…I just didn’t have any trouble “seeing” it from the contents. But then I can’t ever see the coyote in those dense pattern images….;-)

    1. Kathy, I’ve always thought (assumed) that the figure in Kertesz’s image was standing on the other side of the frosty glass. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because like my image, what really counts is how you feel about it, not how you confusing or disorienting it might be. (Unless of course your feelings about images are largely determined by such factors.)

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