Abstractions in the human-made landscape

That title sounds a bit pretentious, but the subject is a good one.   In the human-made world there are many structures that, when carefully composed, give us images that are abstract arrangements of colour, shape, texture or “all of the above”.

This diving board and pool is no longer about the reality of what was there.  It’s about the not-quite symmetry of the slabs round the pool, the mixture of textures, and the contrast of the warm tones and the cool tones of the water.

I call this image a “Morning Mondrian”.  There’s a multi-pane window behind the blind, and when the sun shines on that window in the morning it projects a shadow on to the blind.  That shadow gets complicated by the silhouetted support structure in the blind itself.  The asymmetry formed by the angle of the sun gives good contrast with the hard rectangle of the blind’s edges.  These images happen quite often, but every time they are different due to the difference in elevation and position of the sun.

The Great Western main line from London to Cardiff has some pedestrian crossings where, if you are careful to watch out for trains, you can make images that use the perspective of the rails.  At first glance the image has quite a bit of symmetry, but on further inspection you can see it’s not really symmetrical at all.  The trailing cable between the centre rails help break it up even more.  It’s fun counting the triangles…

Three human-made landscapes all simplified and abstracted with a mobile phone camera.

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