Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Pilippolis, Gas Station

Its all in the mind...

The image here is of a petrol station in Pilippolis, in the southern part of the Freestate. Last year in December I stayed there for a night. The next morning I got up early and went for a walk with my camera to photograph the structures of this rather old town...































I used a Mamiya ZD medium format camera and my lens of choice for this sort of photography, a 50mm shift lens. I have to use a tripod with this configuration and my usual way of carrying the camera is just to keep the camera attached to the tripod and carry the whole contraption on my shoulder. I have a smallish carbon fibre tripod that is light enough to carry easily. I have heavier ones which is sturdier but is too heavy to carry, at my age, for too long distances. That's for the assistant to carry when I have one.....

It was quite overcast with cloudy skies but the ZD, being a medium format camera, has that extra dynamic range to capture all the detail in the highlights and shadow areas.

What do I like about this image?

I liked the fact that it is somewhat mysterious. My first reaction was, I wonder what the tall pole like structure is? Then the dark black bay on the right also lends a somewhat mysterious air to the image. It also looks like it could be in the middle of nowhere although it is just on the edge of town. I like the fact that there is a little hill and veld visible behind the structure.

Its just an ordinary building in a very ordinary little Karoo town. But the canopy over the gas pump is unusual, even the general shape of the building looks fairly modern but judging by its appearance must be old...

The water on the tar road  formed a little pool of water almost in line with the tall pole like structure and it reflects the sky just a little bit. It is the only highlight in the image. Just next to the bush on left the is 'Ry Veilig ' which means 'drive safely'  painted on the back of, what looks to be a the road sign.

Did I see all of this when I made the image? Of course not, I saw the 'gestalt' and discovered the little details later. I often miss out on the little details when I am busy making exposures...but that's what I like about photography,  the discovery of more information afterwards and the little surprises one meets.

I am attracted to this type of building and scene ...Why?....I cant really say but I suppose my mind is conditioned by looking at countless images by fine photographers and my mind sifts out the one I don't like and remembers the ones I do...and then the little bell rings in my head when my senses 'recognize' an image...

I remember reading about Edward Weston sleeping in the car on his travels in the west, and his wife/lover ( Charis?) waking him up and stopping the car when she 'recognized' a 'Weston'.......

I have to think about all of this a little more...

Regards, Ivan




Post a Comment