Sunday, July 25, 2010


In response to my last bit of snark, Professor F. has referred me to Acerone's most recent posting. These interesting street photos (reminiscent of the street photos of Garry Winograd that Unreal Nature takes such delight in), are all taken on basically the same slant except one of a young lady. But she has a coat belt hanging at the same slant as does a building roofline in the background, so the theme is persistent. Here is another of those slanted photos (presented for the purpose of commentary, I hope Acerone does not mind):

What this photo does to me, and maybe that is intentional, is throw off my balance. If you will, my semicircular canals are put at a slant, as so:

If one rights the picture:

The canals are brought back to upright:

And a further modification further decreases the sense of imbalance.

Now I am not suggesting for a moment that Acerone's pictures drive me wild as did the cockeyed one out of Matisse's studio window. Acerone's photographs are done with intent, and they certainly achieve a sense of unsettledness with me (but I am unsure if this his his/her attention.)

The inner ear is a fascinating organ. It is almost as complicated as the eye. The hair cells (in both the cochlea and the semicircular canals) are sensitive to movement down to as low as one Angstrom. Bending the "hair" opens channels for, among other things: SODIUM IONS. You see, you can't get away from it.


Ray Girvan said...

It ties in nicely with prospect-refuge theory. I don't find it terribly unreasonable to postulate an instinctive reaction to a photographic scene matching our real-world reaction to a viewpoint/orientation.

Felix said...

DrC> And a further modification
DrC> further decreases the sense
DrC> of imbalance.

And, to an even greater extent, decreases the impact of the image :-)

Felix said...

RG> It ties in nicely with
RG> prospect-refuge theory.
RG> ... instinctive reaction
RG> ... matching our real-world
RG> reaction...

Absolutely agreed.

The same phenomenon is noticeable in graphical simulation videos ... I remember an old motorcycle chase sim where the horizon stayed level throughout ... and I felt decidedly queasy on the bends.

Acerone said...

A very interesting post and no; i have no problem with you using, rotating and questioning my image!

What i find most intriguing about this discussion is how the viewer has invested more thought into the image than myself as the photographer.
For me, the most interesting aspect of shooting images in this way is the element of chance and striping back the usual well thought out 'rules' of photography - interesting composition, correct exposure, framing that is pleasing to the eye, the rule of thirds, connection with the subject - I feel freed from the usual constraints i impose upon my own practice, and this evokes a sense of excitement within me...

So it is fascinating for me that you have studied, deliberated and reflected upon an image that i purposely set out to be as unconsidered as possible!

Many thanks :-)

Acerone said...

...and perhaps this one will really bother you!

Dr. C said...

Yeow, Acerone! That one was literally painful.

Anonymous said...

One supposes an Eshcer print might go in one ear, and out the other.