Just like eliminating your furniture and building carpeted, pillow-packed levels can turn out to be harder in practice than in practice than you imagined, so can incorporating levels into your images. A few weeks ago, I wrote about how I’ve been struggling to create depth/levels to my “street photography” lately due to my infatuation with urban minimalism. This will no doubt continue to be a struggle for me for years to come, but I think I may have a lead on one potential solution.
I’ve paradoxically been drawn to minimalist images and chaotic, Saul Leiter-esque images of late. On one hand, I’m trying to simplify the world, and on the other hand I’m trying to embrace the chaos. These are different approaches, but they both have value. I suppose the unifying element is the desire to find meaning the the world and tell a tiny story that relates a bit of that meaning to my audience. By stripping away the elements that don’t reinforce the meaning of the story you’re trying to tell, minimalist images increase in potency. But by illuminating the order and meaning out of the world’s chaos, “deep” images can do the same. Perhaps the strategy is less important than the execution.
Today’s image doesn’t really have much of a story, but it does have levels. The building’s exterior and its sign, the empty garage, the morning light hitting the interior wall and door, and the reflection of the cone behind me create a lot of levels…ultimately, much like Kramer’s, these levels don’t lead to anything…but at least they’re visually interesting! I can’t hit a home run on every shot when I’m trying to post every day… 🙂