Over the past few weeks, I’ve been archiving my photo libraries trying to put some sensible order into the chaos. As I went back through several years of images, I realized that there were some that had been glossed over for any number of reasons… I suspect that laziness played the largest part. So what I’ve done is comb through and find the best that I like most, tell the stories around their creation and if I can remember, what happened to keep them from getting published.
In no particular oder, we’ll start with an image from Singapore (there are quite a few from Singapore) that comes from my 2010 visit when the USS George Washington pulled in for a port visit. As you may remember from my first blog post, I love Singapore. It’s so safe and clean (at least on the surface) and there is such an interesting juxtaposition of the old (restored) colonial and the new, monied construction. This photo I think really brings that last point out. It was a very humid and cloudy day with uncharacteristically gloomy light. I guess uncharacteristic for the days that I was there, I have no way of knowing how often it looks similar. I was playing with my new 50mm 1.4 and having a ball with the great contrast and moody vignetting and drawing that this lens does. I say drawing because that is the best way I can think to describe how a lens makes an image. That’s a post for another time though, so back to the scene. Focusing out to the bridge with a wide open aperture and dialing in an exposure that was about a stop or two below what my meter wanted, I got nice depth of field (deep enough for what I wanted) and a lovely vignette native from the lens.
I really like the mood of this image; it’s not the usual bright and sunny image that I had occasion to make there and it has a close, ominous feel to it that I feel really works. I say ominous and close because of the underlying cause of the safety and cleanliness. The government has such a tight grip on the populace that things as innocuous as gum is to outsiders are illegal to sell in Singapore. I remember in school hearing about the American Michael Fay who was caned for vandalizing cars. I remember being very surprised that the Singapore government could beat the tar out of you legally for petty crimes (OK, vandalizing cars in a nation where it’s so expensive to own them can’t truly be called petty). There is a darker side to the interest and beauty that is Singapore and I really feel that this image conveys that sense of foreboding.
As best as I can remember, I never really put much effort into putting this image out there because at the time I was focused on printing Japan images for the AOSA Bazaar that I participated in last year. It was the first event of that scale I’d participated in and as we’re in Japan, I was only printing Japan images.
So that’s number one, stay tuned for more random/misfit shots coming soon!