Monday, September 29, 2014

My Perspective: Literal and Interpretive

You find yourself in a familiar place to photograph.  The challenge is to see this place in a different way so the images you create are not identical to those you shot before.How do you accomplish that task?  Based on the following quote, from author Toba Beta "No perspective, no perception. / New perspective, new perception."

I gave myself an assignment.

This was my 3rd visit to the abandoned diamond mining town of Kolmanskop in Namibia.  As I was photographing this amazing place this time, I resisted photographing the same scenes I have shot in the past and kept 3 words in my head as I framed each shot:

'Perspective,' 'Detail,' and 'Different.'

Simply defined, 'perspective' means 'point of view.'  Because of my short stature, I have always had a different point of view than those of average height, but I wanted to stretch my literal point of view even further as I roamed in and around the sand-filled buildings of Kolmanskop.  

By focusing on the details and lighting in each room and building, I positioned myself at different visual angles to capture images which would hopefully offer viewers a new perspective and perception of this amazing place.

When I began editing this batch of photos, I prepared them as a color collection to post on the web-site to share.  Then I decided to continue the creative process by stretching my interpretive point of view. 

After I created the gallery of color images, (which can be seen here: 2014 Kolmanskop- Color )- I selected the shots which I felt met my criteria of "perspective, detail, and different" and rendered them in black and white to further represent the essence and the haunting mystery of this abandoned place.

My gallery of my interpretive perspective can be seen here: 2014 Kolmanskop- Black and White

As I look at each gallery, I am torn as to which collection I prefer. While I like many of the images in my black and white rendition of Kolmanskop, I think I favor the gallery of color images as a collection.  This surprised me because it seems strange to me that an old spot, reeking of nostalgia, looks better in color!  Maybe it's because of the combination of the colors and textures.

If you like these galleries of Kolmanskop, be sure to check out my gallery of classic images of Kolmanskop from previous visits.

"I never saw an ugly thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may - light, shade, and perspective will always make it beautiful." - John Constable- painter


  1. I agree Wendy, nothing is ugly - only interesting, and made more so by the light, perspective, and POV. Great thoughts shared here. I think I commented on Facebook when I saw this post, but wanted to add my comments here. And you have a way to make many things interesting!