Stills V3

February 18, 2009

Hong Kong 11

Filed under: Colin — Rex @ 12:01



  1. What a difference a pole makes. Without the left hand edge pole, a timeless scene from the past.

    With the pole, some sort of anachronistic cleaning device, lying around in the present day.

    Least that’s what the pole does for me.

    Comment by Gordon — February 18, 2009 @ 16:09

  2. Gordon – true to form, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Although now you point it out it is obvious that I could have been making a play on that point.

    For me the pole was just a framing device. A reason to put the edge of the photo somewhere.

    Comment by Colin — February 18, 2009 @ 19:01

  3. I missed the pole at first, then caught it, then read Gordon’s comment – weird synchronicity there.

    I like the graphical elements of the steps up, steps left, too.

    Comment by doonster — February 18, 2009 @ 19:03

  4. This is definitely my favorite from the Hong Kong series.

    At first glance, I want to get rid of the pole on the left (no surprise coming from me), but I could never give up the way it echoes the door and the horizontal pipe. The added delights of the balancing turqoise rectangles and the irregular brown touches (that are are oh, so complementary) are enough to keep me around. Add the steps leading to the steps, along with all those rich textures, and I’m a happy viewer.

    After I’m done at Montmartre, I’m ordering a cup of coffee to go and coming back to this spot for a while.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — February 18, 2009 @ 23:32

  5. the foreground steps are twice the size of the background steps, the only real clue that these are on a differnt plane in the real world is that the front steps are blurred. Something Ben Lifson might call ‘frontality’.
    And that little bit of life growing tucked in behind the broom adding one extra colour.
    Also my favourite of the series.

    Comment by Robert Hoehne — February 19, 2009 @ 04:06

  6. I’ll start tangentially addressing Gordon’s point about the pole. A broom (besom) like the one here can be bought in most European countries, including the UK and a number of women might take issue with “anachronistic”! In any event the pole (freshly painted) is surrounded by the rendering up the rest of the wall and is probably closer in time to the remainder of the picture.

    On first opening this, one is wrenched up the steps as if on a travelling camera boom: quite an amazing sensation, and what must be the main function of the foreground steps. In the top half the colour palette is subtle yet strong and all the objects/planes/placings do give this amazing picture.

    On the one hand the foreground steps take up an inordinate amount of space but on the other they are essential to that lead up to the scene above.

    Comment by John Ellis — February 19, 2009 @ 08:07

  7. Hmm, crop it square and convert it to B&W and it could be one of Guy’s.

    ‘A reason to put the edge of the photo somewhere.’

    That would seem to sum up a lot of photographic endeavor.

    Those stairs are like something out of an Escher. They just don’t look like the match up to the current plane of reality. Not a bad thing in a photograph.

    Comment by matt — February 19, 2009 @ 14:05

  8. Hmm, Maybe I need to rephrase :)

    Without the pole, the shot has a timeless quality, but with the pole it feels much more current.

    As to the broom – I’m British myself and owned one in the past

    Comment by Gordon — February 19, 2009 @ 14:13

  9. Gordon – just to tweak, you owned but did you use?!

    Comment by John Ellis — February 19, 2009 @ 18:53

  10. I didn’t think that this one would be so popular. Stills strikes again :-)

    Comment by Colin — February 19, 2009 @ 19:51

  11. @John yes, I wasn’t married yet. … runs and ducks for cover…

    Comment by Gordon — February 20, 2009 @ 01:20

  12. Definitely my favorite of the series also. Immediately appealing. And I’m so glad it isn’t black and white — the color is perfect and part of what makes this work so well for me, with the reddish broom and green plant taking me right into that space. It’s all quite wonderful.

    Comment by Christina — February 20, 2009 @ 05:31

  13. I brought my Besom from a besom maker in Broad Halfpenny Lane about 30 years ago. It could not be beaten for sweeping up leaves and acorns but now I have Derek and he beats everything.

    I am sure I’ve seen steps like these in many countries.

    Those front steps could easily have been a barrier but they actually lead me in to the crux of the image.

    Comment by Rex — February 22, 2009 @ 20:03

  14. From this angle and the barrier the steps provide I do get a strong sense of tension of what might come bursting through that door. Whilst the broom is indeed and interesting subject the branch on the next step up is much more so. With all the concrete you’re left wondering where it came from and why it is positioned there.

    Comment by akikana — February 25, 2009 @ 01:05

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