Sometimes I Forget And Leave The Lens Cap On
I had no intent to make this abstract view of a sidewalk. I didn’t plan to make a photo, this photo. My iPhone did it for me, sorta.
My phone case has a sliding lens cover. It protects the camera lenses as I slip the phone in and out of pockets and bags.
Sometimes I forget and leave the lens cap on. This is one of many abstractions I’ve created accidentally touching the shutter button while sliding the lens cap open.
Usually, I delete the photo on the phone. Too busy making other photos to delete this one and it got transferred to my laptop for editing.
I remember this moment as I stepped onto the sidewalk and began removing the cap my fingers and the cap moving through the plane of the lens as I accidentally hit the shutter.
This is a photo of a set of three-dimensional objects. They are flattened to the two dimensions of a computer screen. The flattening distorts the spatial relationships between the objects.
Elements that were originally at different depths from the camera are all compressed onto a single plane. Compression and flattening of space are fundamental aspects of photography.
Photographers rely on the interplay of light and shadow to create form and depth within a two-dimensional image. When that interplay, that relationship is reduced or eliminated the viewer must bring their own experiences, emotions, and perceptions to the image, shaping their understanding of the photo.
An abstraction, such as the photo at the top, communicates little about the original subjects.
The task for a photographer is to recognize the abstractions that can be created when reducing a subject to two dimensions.
Two-dimensional subjects lack narrative. Finding the narrative when making a photograph decreases the chance that the abstraction becomes the only way the viewer begins to understand the photo. An abstraction interpreted by their experiences and perceptions.
Losing narrative to abstraction is like accidentally leaving the lens cap on.
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