Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Night On The Tiles

Up, Up And Away

Photograph copyright: DAVID McMAHON


These stairs at Southbank are normally crowded, at any time of day. But when I took this shot, about six weeks ago, the area was unusually deserted. I waited for a couple of office workers to walk through the area before shooting this frame.

There is so much symmetry in this scene, yet so much of it is asymmetrical as well. The first five steps are curved, while the next flight of stairs is straight. The railings embrace three different orientations - straight at the top, angled in the middle section and curved at the bottom.

Even when you look at the tiles and the grouting between them, the parallax factor endows the scene with a certain perspective that is normally impossible to achieve in a field of vision that is only about five or six metres long.

The colours are so strong and so vibrant in what can be "seen" in the shot. Yet it is the unseen elements in this frame that provide such an intriguing reflection of soft, pastel shades in the tiles themselves. The silvery-blue streak is actually the sky, reflected through the glass atrium high above where I was standing.

It's a bit like life - you see so much more when you study it carefully.

19 comments:

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

The floor looks so slippery, is it dangerous to walk on? I'd want my rubber-soled shoes on that surface for certain...

Neva said...

OK --this is why you are a world class photographer...I would have noticed it looked slippery and called it a day! Nicely done and thanks for the commentary! It is good to see how your mind works!

Kimberly said...

What comes to mind is the phrase, "And the streets were paved with gold." Striking. And as you say, so much more to be seen when you take the time to study it.

imac said...

Bit hard and cold David to spend a night there.

Great photo and info.


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San said...

The interplay of coolness and warmth, light and shadow, and as you so eloquently point out--what is seen and unseen--makes for a kind of visual countlessness.

Yes, it's the dance of life, David. Every angle playing off the next. All of it together adding up to so much more!

Sandi McBride said...

I had to keep going back up to watch the stairs and study the reflections in the highly polished floor...I wonder how much we miss by not looking at things closely. Funny how the camera catches so much more than our eye does
Sandi

Hilary said...

For the past year, I've been seeing the previously-invisible when I'm outside. It takes an eye like yours to see them in a scene like this. Thanks for that.

Gawdess said...

I very much like the many lines mixed with reflections

willow said...

Nice composition, David! I like all the elements and shapes.

Lacey Lichi said...

Beautiful shot, very calming.

quilldancer said...

As I sat at the bus stop this afternoon I contemplated a shadow on a roof. The shadow was that of a palm tree bearing coconuts. I compared the flat shadow to the multidimensional tree, and saw much was the same, and much was different between the two. Each were a version of truth. Your photo very much echoes my thoughts.

Anna said...

I love the reflections!

Jennifer H said...

Such a great photo (I love the color of the floor and its reflective nature), and your observations are just as interesting.

Sandy Kessler said...

I really wish my floor was that shiny I keep trying

Sandy Kessler said...

I really  wish my floor was that shiny I keep trying

Akelamalu said...

I love the colours in that photograph but I would be terrified to walk on that floor it looks really slippery.

ExpatKat said...

Colourful and intriguing picture. Love the curve of the ironwork compared with the rigidity of the steps.

Anonymous said...

Captivating play of colours and an equally brilliant description of a flight of stairs and a spotless floor, which could easily skip the ordinary observer.

Rene.

katherine. said...

there are so many things that catch the eye...I wonder if they disappear with the crowds?