How I read an abstract photograph

No Customers Small

 

I can’t speak for everyone.  I have a very good friend who expects out of the camera realism with little if any post processing.  He and I agree we don’t agree on the subject.

This is my photo called “No Customers.”  A larger version is here.  Let me take you through a brief summary of what happens when I look at this.  I first see three horizontal bands, gray – dark brown & black – and a band of yellow-oranges.  My mind wonders what this is.

I move closer and see it is some sort of store with a completely empty parking lot.  My eye basically moves left and right, to discover what I can see in the photo.  For example I see what appears to be lights on inside the building but on closer inspection see that they are merely reflections of street lighting.

I then follow the yellow-orange band, again left and right, to examine its tonalities and notice the ghost of the former name of the store.  At that point my thoughts engage along the lines of wondering what happened, why the store closed, and so on.  I read the description and see that local factories closed so there were no customers for this store.  I think about what the role of government should be versus a corporation’s legitimate quest for less expensive labor … and then I look back at the photo in total and see the results of one option.

At least that is how I “read” a photo like this.

 

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