Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Photography: The Walls Have Stories






Photograph of an alley way next to The Casbah (now closed). The Casbah was club on U street here in DC during the 1950's.

27 comments:

tryphina said...

Wow, there's so much life in that alley!!! I bet you many a dream was lost, as much as many were tranformed in that alley!!?? Something vibrant about it...a sort of Forget me Not buzz!!

Ooops! am I awake???

Michelle said...

I agree with tryphina. If these walls could talk indeed...the colors captured in the photo are breathtaking. Great pic -- you're the man!

Kathy said...

the "leading lines" in this picture could be the line where the brick wall and concrete ground join and also the line of bricks on that same wall that almost parallels it. The line starts from the bottom left and "leads" the viewers eye towards the center of the picture. I was told this effect is called "leading lines" but I think it is similar in a way to "vanishing points" in art (like the invisible lines that you'd use to draw perspectives on buildings and other objects). It gives a 2d pic a more 3d perspective... you could have just taken a picture of the flat wall, but you chose a different perspective, perhaps subconsciously, that would draw the viewer in towards the subject (real or imagined) at the vanishing point (perhaps the door at the end of the alley way... the lines seem to be pointing towards that doorway)...

I like the colors too BTW ;)

Erik said...

Kathy pretty much summed it up,
Although from an Artistic stand point (speaking not from a photographers point of view even though photography is art) but speaking in terms of artstic composition.-Every picture you take tells a story, even if it is a small story and you are getting that across by how the viewers eye gravitates to certain objects in a picture of photograph.
There are many ways to do that, color, contrasting colors, focus, shapes and other elements. You seem to have represented many of those elments well here.

Stephen Bess said...

tryphina-
Yes, I agree. If that alley could take us back to the U street of the past (1950-1985) there would be stories that would take our breath away. 14th and U street was crawling with pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, etc until the late 80's.

Michele-
Hey! I'm glad that you like it! Thanks! I'm looking forward to my book. Thanks again.

kathy-
The angle that I took of the picture was intentional, but I didn't know that it would give that 3D effect as it did. The colors are what attracted me to this alley. Thanks for that perspective.

erik-
thanks for that. I appreciate your opinion.

faith said...

Hi Stephen! I hope all is well in DC. Here all is getting better the weather is sunny and warm! And is suposed to stay that way for several days! :) MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, spring has come to stay in MN... Wonderful as always. I would pay MANY dollars to hear the stories the walls there could tell...

Stephen Bess said...

faith-
Yes, all is well here. It's been raining the past couple of days but we needed it. I'm glad that you are getting ideal weather. :)Thanks!

UARIDI said...

It is as if there was a mystery or secret or treasure hidden in the alley way. Wouldn't you have loved to be part of the wall of a Friday night when the club was open?

Lovely photo

Stephen Bess said...

uaridi-
Yes, it would've been great to be in those intersting times. I hear that the 1950's were not necessarily safe, but full of characters. The weapons of choice in those days were the fist and the razor.

faith said...

Yikes! But at least you can see those coming. Unlike a bullet.

the prisoner's wife said...

did you take this picture??

it is pretty fly, Mr. Bess.

JenellyBean said...

I don't see anything....
Whats wrong with my eyes?

Michael J. West said...

Isn't Songha in the building where the Casbah used to be? Or do I have the wrong place?

Stephen Bess said...

faith-
True. :)

p.wife-
Yes,I'm glad that you like it.

jb-
colors...colors...colors

mjw-
you are correct sir. :)right next to Ben's.

nosthegametoo said...

Excellent eye. Beautiful picture.

Stephen Bess said...

game-
I'm glad that you like it. Thanks!

stephanie of the sun said...

woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow...

those kulluhs.................

wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow...

maaaan, you went to my page and saw that i've been playing around with colors and creating images that aren't quite what one would expect... you even complimented me on my elementary photography :-) (thanks, steveLova... you're the coolest). then i come to the page of The Man with a definite eye for art and the first pic i see has incorporated the same vividry and unexpectedness that i've been trying to create. :-) the same beauty and artistry ~ in the every day. and you saw it and captured it.

awesome.

Stephen Bess said...

Steph-
Haaaaa haaaaa!! :) Whatever! your pictures are beautiful. I mean that will all sincerity. I love them, but thank you. I had help with this because those colors were already there. :)
You're funny though. You think I have that "eye?" :) Thanks!

Poi said...

Dang Stevie! That shot is super. How come you so good in everything?

School me,please....

Keep well!

Stephen Bess said...

poi-
:) You're so nice. Anytime. We can do that whole distance learning thing from DC to Diego.

the prisoner's wife said...

awww...Papa Bess your eye gets better with age!

Sumeeta said...

That is an amazing picture. I think it is interesting how often we forget the history that is surrounding us. We imprint so much of ourselves on the world around us, yet we never notice it. Thanks for sharing.

Rose said...

Prettiest and cleaniest alley I have ever seen...

Bougie Black Boy said...

i'm officially moving down there with you. i think you're my long-lost older brother. Your pics are amazing, as usual...

Stephen Bess said...

p.wife-
Haa haa! :) 'Papa Bess' You're funny. Thank you.

sumeeta-
thank you and yes that area has a great deal of history. So so much history. I'm learning about little by little and sometimes in chunks. :)

rose-
yes, thanks to gentrification because this area was completely run down after the riots in April 1968.

bougie-
thanks bro! you know you're my BOB (BROTHER ON BLOGGER). Let me know when you make it to the neck of the woods.

NML said...

Fabukous photograph! It's so vibrant!

Stephen Bess said...

nml-
Thank you! have a 'fabukous' weekend. :)