Monday, November 06, 2006

ku # 436 ~ sort of an anti-ku # 434


Grey day, grey place. Old Montreal is one of the grey-est places I have ever been. Built entirely of stone in the late 1600s/early 1700s, the streets are narrow and the feeling is very canyon-like. The stone, not an element that I would normally consider to be "warm", actually does provide a warm feeling in this urban landscape, especially when experienced against the backdrop of modern glass and steel urban structures. The fact that the streets and buildings are drenched in a palatable ambience of history helps humanize the place as well. Everything is on a very human-friendly scale. For instance, the narrow streets dominate the traffic (demanding a slow pace), the traffic does not dominate the streets.

To my mind, the "anti-ku # 434"-ness of this photograph is twofold - 1. the denoted lack of color, and, 2. the subsequent connoted sense of urban estrangement. Although, it must be said that item # 2 is called into question by the preceding paragraph, thus demanding consideration of the realtionship between photographs and words.

Can a photograph stand alone and be succesful in the realm of the connoted (equivalence)? Does the oft-stated admonition that a photograph which "needs" words is a "failure" - because it's a visual medium (as the caveat always goes) - have any validity?

4 Comments:

Blogger photopop 7.0 said...

it's too bad you don't live in an urban setting like this... if you got to shoot street photography like this all the time I would be a huge fan (not that I'm not right now, but you know what I'm sayin').

11/06/2006 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger gravitas et nugalis said...

It's NOT too bad - I love living in the middle of nowhere. Guess I'll just have to travel to cities more.

11/06/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle Parent said...

Mark,
I don't think you need the preceding paragraph at all, but I've also been there and walked those same streets. I was there in August and those stones have a whole different life to them in the summer sun and heat. I really think this photo stands on its own just fine. It shows the cool greyness, the narrow streets, and the human element, as well as the nice, old-world feel.

11/06/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Eric Fredine said...

Can a photograph stand alone and be succesful in the realm of the connoted (equivalence)? Yes, but the connotations are never definitive. There are always many possible interpretations.

Does the oft-stated admonition that a photograph which "needs" words is a "failure" - because it's a visual medium (as the caveat always goes) - have any validity? No.

11/07/2006 05:37:00 AM  

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