Monday, June 1, 2009

Have Camera, Will Time Travel

Traveling through the Charlotte Airport on our way to Memphis in 2007, I noticed the lighting and architecture of the airport. Unlike the spartan concrete prison block look of Memphis (or many other airports in the US), Charlotte had some interesting design and lighting.

I've always had no problems pulling my camera out at airports, after all, you often spend hours waiting with nothing to do. My camera is frequently my only sanity when forced to deal with extreme boredom, or as an escape from the reality of certain situations where I'd gladly load a round, spin the revolver and see what happens with a shot to the head. These days with laptops and wifi, time passes a bit more quickly while traveling, but airports are in many ways an interesting photograph waiting to happen, and a camera is still the best escape from reality.

My wife asked me why I titled this "Time Travel?" I liked the futuristic feel of it at the time, and also later in the finished photo. Yet, the black and white with the old biplane makes it sort of timeless. It makes me wonder whether I were going back in time, or maybe forward in time. Second, I shot it in 2007 and it is coming to life as a finished product in 2009. I suppose this photo was like going back to the future.

There were a few photos I really liked the concept of at the airport, but at ISO 1600 in color, with the contrasty mixed lighting sources, nothing really worked off the bat. While I envisioned the final ISO 1600 photos being black and white to make use of the pleasing digital noise structure of Pentax cameras at high ISO, I also liked what I took in color.

This conflict led to me processing and reprocessing the images in color, and then in black and white. I never could get my favorite of the bunch to work, eventually I grew tired of working on the airport shots, so they languished in digital purgatory for 18 months till I could revisit them with a fresh look. In the end, "Time Travel" wasn't even the photo I had originally picked as the best of several different scenes, but looking at the various scenes from a fresh perspective I finally got what I was looking for.

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1 comment:

  1. Whatever the year, I still think it's a great photo. A nice composition with killer B&W tones.