Loosen up and look around!
That's what "Urban Glyphs" is all about. Our minds are continuously trying to make sense of what our eyes see. Most of the time, thankfully, a healthy mind draws the correct associations. Bird seen = bird recognized. Car seen = car recognized.
But sometimes if the image is not obvious the association can be fanciful. That's the game I played with my own mind one cold, gray winter day while walking through a park. The pavement was old and in poor condition. It had been patched for many years but the patches were themselves disintegrating. Stained by salts and moisture their crazing began to form abstract representations of familiar things in my straining mind. After studying a few memo images taken with a small camera I decided to return with a better camera and make this an afternoon project.
By the way, these images are no longer possible to create, as the pavement has been removed as part of a park renovation project.
Camera: Canon 5D
Here's another example of one of my day-projects, this time from the dead of a winter several years ago. An unusual snow-freeze-thaw-freeze cycle had enabled snow and ice to thaw, slump, and then re-freeze on a sloping surface. This created some truly remarkable forms reminiscent, at least to me, of partially unearthed bones in an archeological dig site. So I spent a delightful, but very cold, afternoon finding spots at this site that really made the imagination romp in such a direction.
You can find the full set of these images in my "Cold Bones" gallery.
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
My closing suggestion is that you abandon chasing "decisive moments" and photographic greatness every so often to simply let your mind wander with your camera. If you're able to genuinely set yourself free of ambition and camera tech concerns I think you'll find such exercises to be remarkably relaxing and, over time, quite enriching for your creative eye.
- Ken Tanaka -