353 - Silence

There is a certain kind of movie that is not seen often any more. I mean slow, silent moves. Silent not in the sense that there would be no sound, no, I mean movies that take their time. Movies where between scenes the screen fades to black, movies that don’t scream “ACTION!!!” in your face, movies like Jim Jarmusch’s “Down by Law” or David Lynch’s “The Straight Story”. These movies teach us to see, and sometimes even to live.

This afternoon I was in the restaurant Ufertaverne, sitting on the covered middle terrace, half in the shadow, took my time to see, and to listen to the silence.

Nikon 18-200, 105mm at f5.3 and 1/160s. Straight from the camera.

"Silence” is a song by bassist Charlie Haden. I have it on his Liberation Music Orchestra masterpiece “The Ballad of the Fallen”, but today we need the much more contemplative version on “Magico”, recorded in 1979 with Egberto Gismonti and Jan Garbarek.

There are 2 comments

mcmurma   (2007-10-14)

Still on the subject of style, re: your post on 11 Oct, this is one of your images that seems to take a small diversion from what I would typify as "your" style.

Usually your images tend to be more bold in the color palette, more striking in your choice of angular presentation, and overall more vibrant than the image presented here.

What's not different is the way you have balanced the composition, and your compositions are always well balanced. If not by subject, then by color and light. Indeed, color, light, line and texture often appear to take on the role of "subject" in your images. If not as the primary, then as a strong secondary.

This image is a perfect case in point. For me the subject is the light and shadow. The chair and plant serve to balance the composition, and the mood the image evokes is one that surfaces often in your work, which is a sort of quiet, contemplative feel.

Now, I think most of these observations hold true on some level for most photographers, or at least the ones who pay attention to their work. What makes our images unique is the way we tend to make the same choices over and over when choosing whats important to us within an image.

Frankly, I don't think we can help it. I think the style just oozes out. We can maybe direct it a little here and there, but we're slaves to it for the most part. Unable to change it anymore than we can our personal appearance by growing thin, or fat, or even putting on a pair of dark sunglasses. Cause no matter what we do to disguise ourselves, our mothers are still gonna recognize us... even when an acquaintance may not.

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andreas   (2007-10-15)


You're absolutely right, this image is about light and shadow, everything else is for balance πŸ™‚

Regarding style, well, as I have said, I have a problem with the word. Most of the time it is used in a very rigid sense. Mr A has style B. And the mechanisms of market really do their best to amplify this. I mean, when people can buy a Salvador DalΓ­ with crutches or one without, which one will they take?

But, of course, thinking about style the way you do makes sense. I really like the notion of choices and preferences. It's not always the same choices that we make, but more often than not, and our preferences may change eventually, but they tend to stay for a long time.

Hmm ... it's always a pleasure to converse with intelligent people, and enlightening too.


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