Stills V3

October 20, 2009

Pipes (06350005)

Filed under: Matt — Matt Alofs @ 13:31

I was tempted to post this paired up like it is on my site – – but I’m not sure the pairing would work reduced to the max size of stills post.



  1. In the photo on your site, are the pipes on the left of this the ones in the righthand photo there? If so, why not put the matching photo on the left?

    Here I note the paintpots (not enough to paint this lot) and the fact that the pipes are of different sizes. I also note that there are twelve in the foreground stack and an even bigger pipe on the left. I’m almost writing to try and elicit something more but so far I can’t! I’ll see what others say.

    Comment by John Ellis — October 21, 2009 @ 07:05

  2. This starts of being all about the shapes for me. Then the details start to assert themselves and the whole scene makes smile.
    The paint is the icing on the cake. Why on earth is it there…? Grand.

    Comment by Lillput — October 23, 2009 @ 07:52

  3. The in-your-face pipes force me to look elsewhere in the photograph for interest. They really do get up close and the angle of shot gives them so much power and motion as well. The paint pots, so small, do seem to hold this movement a little. But, like John, I’m looking around the edges for something else. Perhaps that’s what is intended. All these pipes and no construction to place them in. Forcing the viewer to make decisions rather than see all the answers. As I’m on a roll with skies at the moment…white sky works very well here. All that empitness sure is one place for the pipes to go.

    Comment by akikana — October 25, 2009 @ 05:32

  4. In the ’90s we had a political scandal about a ‘super gun’ that an engineering firm had sold to Saddam Hussein. It was basically a lot of pipes put together and the thought came to me that rearranging these pipes to remove the asymmetries of layout could lead to that gun. Silly really but it’s better than looking at the sky to pick out a drone!

    Second thought is that England (a carefully chosen word) has just torn up moorland and ploughed up a path from the west of Wales to the border to carry LNG from tankers to the metropoli of England. Those pipes were at least as big as the ones on the left and probably bigger. So shortsighted.

    Comment by John Ellis — October 25, 2009 @ 15:22

  5. A pile of impending work which I see as a documentary shot. I also notice the engineering things such as the plug and socket design of the pipes, the smoothness of the inside and what is that wire to the top right?

    I have a pipe story. In developing countries they place the large pipes at right angles to the prevailing winds so that people can live in them until the pipeline is laid.

    Comment by Rex — October 26, 2009 @ 22:12

  6. I’m wondering what Rex means by ‘documentary shot’ in this context.

    I like this standalone. The pairing that you present on your site has immediate appeal, but is a bit too obvious. I’d grow tired of that on the wall much faster than the single image.

    I’m sucked into the pipes. No need to look around the edges for me.

    Comment by Colin — October 27, 2009 @ 07:49

  7. I described it as a documentary shot as I didn’t see it as a pattern or an abstract shot but it did tell me a story about pipes.

    Comment by Rex — October 27, 2009 @ 19:37

  8. Ok. I understand “not an abstract”.

    Comment by Colin — October 28, 2009 @ 02:01

  9. Very dynamic for a static subject. It’s like all the items to the sides and in the background are jumping around trying to get in the shot. Then there is the dramatic lighting from the reflections in the pipes zooming through the centre.

    Comment by doonster — October 28, 2009 @ 17:54

  10. It’s interesting seeing this shot on your flikr page ( with the 35mm version nearby. Though the same subject and similar vantage point, they seem to have been taken at slightly different times and the effects in both are therefore quite different. I find the one you posted to Stills to be the stronger of the two. The 35mm has much more space surrounding it and as a result seems to be less dynamic.

    Comment by akikana — October 29, 2009 @ 06:27

  11. I said that I would wait and see what others say: some of that has helped. I’m still not greatly taken with it but I do recognize the power emanating from it. It seems to be, firstly, about how this subject looks in the square format and then, out of that, comes the four by three stack arranged vertically such that it gives the illusion of portrait mode in 35mm format. So it is both clinical, as a photographic exercise, and visually powerful as a result. Well seen and cleverly done.

    Comment by John Ellis — October 29, 2009 @ 07:34

  12. Guy, the 35mm shot is from a couple of days later, when some of the pipe had been laid.

    John, yeah, I’m definitely still at the ‘how does this look square’ phase with the 6×6, but I was also intrigued by the depth of the shadows in the pipes. That kind of thing is just hard to get with 35mm.

    Comment by matt — November 1, 2009 @ 14:46

  13. This one makes me dizzy—in a delightful way. The amazing amount of detail and depth make the pipes seem to float slightly apart when I look at for a time. A fascinating illusion.

    Comment by Anita Jesse — November 14, 2009 @ 15:53

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