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November 20th, 2014, 7pm

It was 6°C with scattered clouds. The breeze was light.

I’m wary of what digital filters can do to photographs. It’s not that I’m against manipulation – far from it. Strictly speaking there is no photo of mine in existence which hasn’t seen some kind of change in the computer. But heavy filtering, as is easily possible with all that instagram-like stuff out there too often means infusing the picture with ready-made emotions. In other words, it means nothing at all.

That said, I’ve employed these possibilities to striking effect. The tonnage of seventeen years wasn’t shot in the dark, and the deliberate deterioration forced on Asclepius really provides that scene with a forlorn and subliminally threatening atmosphere I’d see fit for a thoroughly creepy horror movie.

With this one, it was different. I had walked along a Swiss railway line, and closing in on the next station, I passed a green dispenser for dog shit bags. The instructional sticker on it had been made beautiful by decay; I wanted to capture that beauty. At home I saw: no dice. Too much banal, too little special. But I threw some filters at it nonetheless, and after some unappealing results I hit the piñata. I don’t know what it is - maybe the color contrast between those faded greens and browns works particularly well. Or it’s the cracks in the sticker, somehow put under a microscope by that circular outline. This shot suddenly became a time machine, sending me back to the early seventies in a way I’m hardly able to describe. But where I fail, music prevails. The future never comes by Deru somehow, magically knows everything about this picture I don’t.

So it seems now and then digital filters and music are needed to find the picture within the picture.

Adrian and Shu said thanks.

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Marcus Hammerschmitt

Writer, journalist and photographer. Eighteen books so far, on paper and on screen. My biography is boring, my life is not.

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