Two days remain in the month of October, yet the photo above gives little hint of autumn. Taken just one week ago, the full foliage of the trees lining walls of the image portray a season in full bloom. The stark contrasts of the leaves on the steps and pavement also hint at a forceful, unrelenting summer sun. In fact, the minimalist composition of the photo provides few criteria with which to judge the street scene as mid-autumn. Only the light jackets of the women walking below may give away the true season of this image.
This photo was taken on a hot day, one which was reminiscent of last year’s lingering summer, but sadly an anomaly in our current climate. While it may show an overly optimistic view of how this past month has progressed, it still manages to evoke a sense of stillness within movement. When experienced in their true mystery, these forces can be found in the heart of autumn, of this season where change ends in a chill placidity. The tree seems caught in its own frustrated inertia, not yet changing, but feeling the need. However the nose of the sedan peeking out into the frame seems, exposed, guilty in its rapid transition from left to right. However, the two figures seem to bridge these two worlds. Not only are they positioned between the tree and streetscape, they also seem content with the pace at which they move. They neither walk hurriedly, nor with a languid gate. Instead, they move fast enough for their needs. May the month to come do the same.
[Image taken with my Ricoh GR1 shooting Agfa APX 400 film. It was a sunny afternoon and the higher speed film allowed for a relatively deep depth of field from this wide 28mm lens. This film is also contrasty is ways which bring out differing emotional qualities from seemingly ordinary scenes. If you have a chance to pick up a roll of three to compare to Kodak Tri-x 400, you might be surprised at what is revealed.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)