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Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Circles and Spirals

Parking Ramp AbastractAs I reported the week before last, I've started taking photos of a rather nicely-designed parking garage at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, just a few minutes from where I work. It's the circular ramps, two at each end of the very large, long building, that attract me.

I was struggling to understand just what it was about these ramps ... just what did I think was there waiting to be extracted? Then I ran across a recent article by Michael Reichmann in his amazing website, in which he wrote,
What you will find more often than not is that the best images ... are ones where the essence of the subject has been extracted from its surroundings. Abstracted both literally and figuratively. This lets their emotional content transcend their literal basis, and sometimes, just occasionaly, it becomes art.

That first try the other week wasn't bad, but I knew it wasn't quite what I was after. And now after reading that article of Michael's I think it was that I hadn't yet gotten to the "essence" of the ramps, hadn't yet extracted them from their surroundings

Monday evening I got physically much closer to the ramps, and the result here is much closer to my goal.

The colors are artificial, but I like them. When I first loaded this image into Photoshop Elements, I tried the "Auto Levels" command just for the heck of it. This shifted the grayish bands of concrete towards blue. It looked terrible, but gave me the idea of going for a more extreme blue. I got the effect you see here by cranking up the saturation first in the blue channel, in the yellow. I think the IKEA-like Swedish color scheme adds to the transformation of the physical entity, the set of parking lot ramps, to the more abstract level of circular and spiraling bands.
BWI Parking No. 2
For comparison, here is another photo in which I left the color more or less as I saw it in real life. I think this one also is strongly abstracted, and close to what I was looking for. But I do like the strong colors in the first image - I think they just work better with the very strong shapes. More playing with the Hue and Saturation sliders in Photoshop ahead!

By the way, looking at these photos, I see that both of them could benefit from cloning out the light fixture in front of the ramp in the background.

My 100th Post!

Unbelievable as it seems to me, and despite what my Blogger profile says, this is my 100th post!

Over the last week or so, I went back and read most of my blog articles, and some of the writing strikes me as quite good. I even crack myself up once in a while... isn't that a sign of feeble-mindedness?

It's been a good experience in other ways, too. When I first started the blog, I didn't think of it primarily as a photoblog, but that's how it's turned out. Even when the topic hasn't been about photography, I'm glad that I used my images to document what was going on in my life. I think it will be especially gratifying, for example, a year or ten years from now to read and view the photos of the "Road Trip" posts about the Excellent Adventure Ben and I had in NYC last August.

On the other hand, there are a number of posts where it seems as if I just pushed something out to get it out. In fact, as I'm writing this very paragraph, I'm getting that feeling again, so maybe I should stop.

If you're reading this, I want to thank you, and I hope you'll come back to vist.

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