Thursday, 1 October 2015

photographic abstraction #16

In the last instalment in this series, I stated that “there will be fewer photos of stained walls” in future. However, I couldn’t resist including Winter Wonderland in the present collection, partly because it isn’t a typical wall affected by rust, moss or lichen but is in fact an example of a physical process known as efflorescence. This occurs when moisture in the brickwork or stonework makes its way to the surface, where it evaporates, leaving behind salts that had been dissolved in the water.

winter wonderland

Also in this collection is a picture that exploits a new motif: Blood, Sweat and Tears. Although I’ve written this before and been proved wrong, I defy anyone to identify what this is actually a photograph of.

blood, sweat and tears

Given the huge number of photos of oil/petrol stains that I’ve taken this summer, and the fact that I’ve devoted two posts exclusively to such pictures, you might think that I’d not be including any more in this series. However, Stained Glass is slightly different. First, it was taken in Hong Kong earlier this year; and, second, it includes other material (dead acacia leaves), which give a different feel to the image, whereas my usual oil-stain photographs contain no such extraneous material, apart from the occasional intrusion of a kerb or gutter, which I crop out wherever possible.

stained glass

All Fall Down also makes use of a new motif, albeit one that shouldn’t be difficult to identify. To me, the image suggests that everything is collapsing, so I had no hesitation in using the final line of the plague song that begins ‘ring a ring of roses’ as its title.

all fall down

As you have probably already noticed, I like to use recognizable phrases as picture titles. Blue Remembered Hills looks to me like a landscape picture, so I appropriated the title from a 1979 television play by the late dramatist Dennis Potter.

blue remembered hills

Finally, I don’t think I need to explain why I gave The Voice the title I did.

the voice

One change in this chapter that you might not have noticed is my decision to increase the number of images per post from five to six. This decision reflects the sheer number of abstract images that I’ve produced in the last few months—I’ve already finalized the lineup for the next two chapters.

previous posts in this series
Photographic Abstraction #13
Photographic Abstraction #14
Photographic Abstraction #15


  1. "Blue remembered hills" is a quotation from Housman's "Shropshire Lad" cycle of poems. These photos are your best yet, I think.

    1. Thanks for the info Peter. I haven’t read anything by Housman in a long time, but I should have realized that Potter was quoting from somewhere.


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