Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Five O'Clock Shadow

Light And Shade Under A Tropical Sky

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


This was a strange moment, but I'm so glad I followed my instincts. I had spent most of the day in Singapore shooting different aspects of the city under a sullen tropical sky. Twice the heavens opened and twice I had to take shelter, away from the streets, to protect my precious camera. Late in the evening I made my way to the area known as Little India and as I walked through an arcade, the sun scythed dramatically through the clouds for a few brief moments.

The rich shadows on this mustard-coloured wall intrigued me. It was as if the scene had taken on a personality of its own and was inviting me to capture the rich mix of dappled and strong horizontal shadows. I don't know who the person was, leaning languidly against a wall. But he was a perfect counterpoint for the bright paintwork on the mailbox that was at arm's length away from him.

I was still separated from him by an entire street-width. Would I wait? Would I start shooting? The sun ebbed, as if it were teasing me. The man and the mailbox were practically the same height, a perfect counterpoint to each other. There was always the danger that he would change position or walk away - and the shot would be lost forever.

The sun returned and I swung the camera up quickly to shoot three frames before the clouds obliterated the sun entirely. But there was a busy street in front of me. A taxi appeared in one frame, a car in another. This one had just what I wanted. Just lucky.

26 comments:

Misty Dawn said...

You have such a great eye for the great shots!

Corrie said...

Beautiful (words and photo)! If only my mailbox were as photogenic...

Akelamalu said...

Fabulous David

Anne Bradshaw said...

What a great photo! That mustard color is both rich and mellow. Stunning.

lime said...

so it's a mailbox! i was wondering what that was! terrific lucky shot, david.

WomanHonorThyself said...

Hmmmmmm..now what do ya suppose he's waiting for..luv the mystery of it all~!

Bubba's Sis said...

This is beautiful!!

Lana Gramlich said...

Yet another lovely photo. Thanks for sharing the story behind it. :)

Gypsy at heart said...

The whole scene invites a story.It would make a good cover for the novel....

daryl e said...

So moody .. quite the catch.

imac said...

Well caught David.

Its nice when you find you get what you wanted and its perfect.


Come and visit our holls fab cab, also see who won my free Austrian card.

Tammy said...

I never would have guessed that was a mailbox.

Stacey said...

David, not only is the shot beautiful....no not beautiful, stunning...but so is the story behind the photo. I envy you your experiences...

the teach said...

An absolute beauty of a photo! Marvelous, David! The colors are so rich!

aims said...

I love the colors in this shot - as soon as it came on my screen I went 'Oh!'.

Am'n2deep said...

I know this is about the picture--which is fabulous by the way, but I am really so intrigued by all your traveling. I dream of seeing the world!

alicesg said...

Nice photoshot. Oh yes, that is a busy road.

Gawdess said...

the colours are so warm and inviting, the mailbox itself is very appealing - very nice

Amrita said...

Super. The mailbox is so colorful too.

D... said...

I really think this is a great shot. I love the colors in it and the play of the shadows. Excellent!

Kathryn said...

Wow. You have such a great eye. Your photos have such emotion in them. Love it!

Melissa said...

I love this photo David! It's just gorgeous...

Julie at Virtual Voyage said...

Eye catching in every respect....great shot.

Sniz said...

I LOVE the color in this shot. The composition is great, David.

Dragonstar said...

That is perfect.

Lee said...

David, I really love that mailbox. For me it is the center focus of the image. The shadows are interesting too. But, Man! I've never seen a mailbox that pretty!

Cheers!