Riverside Arts Magnet School occupied an old elementary school building. My classroom faced Northwest and had windows that went almost from floor to ceiling. The elements and time had scratched several of the panes until they were weathered. It was one of those overcast days in which the clouds were so thick and low you could nearly touch them. A light rain sprinkled the glass as the sunlight fought to penetrate the shadows of the darkened room. Deep green tiled floors, aged wooden tables and ’70’s era schoolroom chairs occupied the otherwise empty room. This is what I found as I left the darkroom with a wet print in hand.
I was taken aback by the luminosity of the cloud diffused daylight as it glanced off the hard edges; Distinct forms took shape in the shadows. Putting down the print, I picked up my camera and shot several frames, working through the scene. Shape, line and tone are the subject here.
I arrived at this image.
Shadows occupy a void of light. In a photograph, they appear as a visual weight. In most cases, this weight adds depth to the photo, grounding all the other tones and providing the look of contrast. Without these dark areas, the average image would appear weak or flat.
This photo also represents my first foray into strong geometric compositions. There is no real “reason” for the image beyond the artistic value of the above mentioned elements. It doesn’t tell a story, it doesn’t document an event. It simply is.
This photo would forever change how I see and shape my ideas of what constitutes a good composition.