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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Eight: Light and shadow shape meaning > Pearl Street, Denver, Colorado, 2007
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Pearl Street, Denver, Colorado, 2007
06-JUL-2007

Pearl Street, Denver, Colorado, 2007

The early morning sun illuminates the brickwork on the side of an early 20th century apartment building. Using my spot-metering mode, I expose for the brightest part of the image, which plunges the shadowed areas into blackness. The large black areas within this image fragment the brickwork, dividing it both vertically and horizontally to create an incongruity. The image features that most solid of surfaces a brick wall. Yet it the play of shadows upon that wall breaks it into pieces. The image offers a simple metaphor: things are not always what they seem.

Leica D-Lux 3
1/1000s f/8.0 at 25.2mm iso100 full exif

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Phil Douglis17-Aug-2007 02:18
Yes, it is a rather toothy wall, Ceci. Thanks for this comment. The black shadows fragment the image and imply menace at the same time. That is how important shadows are to this image. And when there is menace, there are always inferences such as the prison facade and other unpleasant places. And yes, this image lives dangerously as its shadows carve up what is actually a continuous surface.
Guest 16-Aug-2007 23:14
This is a vaguely menacing shot, given the "tooth-like" quality of the angled bricks, as though a large maw stands open above the dark window. The black shadows also add to the somberness of the photo, as well as the bricks themselves, and the shape of the arch, and the electric line. This suggests a prison facade to me, with its attendant nastinesses. There is great drama here, as well as a kind of danger.
Phil Douglis11-Jul-2007 05:49
And that's exactly the incongruity I have tried to express here, Jenene. Solid yet also fluid. A brick wall that is full of gaping spaces. And all because of the way light falls and shadows form.
JSWaters11-Jul-2007 03:57
I love how you've changed this solid brick wall into an undulating series of forms with light playing against dark. It's very graphic and solid, yet fluid at the same time.
Jenene
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