On this years Photomarathon, and avoiding cliches – Part 2

(continued from Part 1)
Returning back to the meeting place, I received a piece of paper with the second group of subjects:

5. Black-White
6. Not for sale
7. Through the glass
8. Joy

These four seemed easier than the first group, but that could be a pitfall, since –as I have already stated– I wanted to avoid the standard shots that first come in someone’s mind and work really hard to capture each subject with a unique personal vision. Kind of like making a statement.
In which I failed miserably for some of the subjects (e.g. the “Guilty secret” one). Oh well, at least I tried. And I still wasn’t so happy about my participation number shot.

With these thoughts in mind, I started walking once again towards the upper, older part of the town. I had spotted an old, burnt-down house during a recent walk there with a friend and I wanted to go there again, being sure that there were great shots to be had, that had eluded me last time.

On my way there, an empty shop in a corner had windows on both sides of the crossing streets, and I figured that I might get the “Through the Glass” subject here. I patiently waited for some pedestrian and/or car to pass by, and when I clicked and checked my screen I was amazed by the result.

Through the Glass

Through the Glass

That’s a keeper!

My eye also fell on a nice knocker on a nearby door, and I couldn’t resist taking a shot. Not having the contest or a particular subject in mind, I just liked what I saw.

Knocker

Knocker

I also passed by a writing on the wall, that read “Hands off the occupations” ( a political message by left-wing supporters about some police raids clearing occupied buildings by protesters), and I thought that the whole left-wing/anarchist ideology fitted the ‘Not for sale’ subject perfectly. Freedom can’t be bought or voted for, it can only be won by conflict on the streets. Let’s just hope that the judges aren’t right winged… 😀

Not for sale

Not for sale

I arrived at the burnt house, and this time I entered in search of a nice shot. I immediately shot the remnants of the bed and some light switches,

Light Switch

Light Switch

but moving on further into the apartment a striking image appeared in front of my eyes.

On a section of the wall, amid the charred, now black and peeled off paint, there was the silhouette of a frame that was once hanging there from a nail. It appeared that during the fire, it got destroyed completely, having melted off in some places, but the frame itself had kind of protected the wall behind it from the smoke and the flames, leaving it (almost) intact.
There were patches of white paint, in total contrast with the blackened wall all around. This was a perfect black and white shot (even on levels above the color definition of the term), which I purposely shot on color. I kept some orange patches of the wall barely visible, hoping that the viewer will notice and be impacted even more by all the suggestions that the image was shouting out loud. I was then sure that I had the best shot of the day, filled with pride for having captured such a strong composition, frame and subject. I know that some of you (hell, maybe even all of you) won’t understand what you are seeing here, on first glance, but that is the beauty of it!

Black and White

Black and White

Moving on, I visited a nearby square with a playground, hoping to capture a ‘Joy’ moment, but instead shot a statue of the archbishop of the town during its uprising against the Ottoman occupation (see Greek war of Independence), who allegedly declared the Revolution on 25 March 1821 and raised the banner with the cross in the Monastery of Agia Lavra, thinking that maybe it would fit the ‘Not for Sale’ subject. It didn’t made the cut though.

Palaion Patron Germanos

Palaion Patron Germanos

Not wanting to take pictures of unsuspected kids having fun, I started my way back, finding almost exactly what I was looking for as far as the subject with my participation number was concerned. I found a 15E price on a shop, and with the appropriate angle, I managed to squeeze another ‘1’ in the beginning, making it 115, and although I wasn’t satisfied by the shot, it had to suffice for now. That was the first and only shop that I found where I could compose the prices as such.

I create and shoot my participation number

I create and shoot my participation number

I tried visiting the bus station, waiting for a bus to arrive, and get a snapshot of a happy relative that was reunited with his beloved person once more, but after almost an hour and three buses, the majority of the passengers were students returning from holidays, and thus no-one waited for them. So much for the time and trouble…

Back in the meeting place, I did a revision of the 80 shots I had taken all day, and was considering to hand over my SD card without a ‘Joy’ submission. I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t able to imprint such a basic (but fleeting for many) feeling on a photo and I was getting more and more pissed the more I was thinking about it. I decided to take a last, fast stroll towards the nearby old port, and while I didn’t find anything there, on my final walk back I passed a shop window with an expressionless mannequin and a photo of a kid laughing on the background.

Joy

Joy

I instantly loved the implication about my self there, thinking that this was exactly me, a serious appearance on the outside but a hidden children laughing all the time on the inside. Snap, and I had another keeper, and finally a submission for every subject.

My course on Google maps (without the last minute dash to the old port that was another 2kms); https://goo.gl/maps/EF2ZP. Total distance, a whooping 10kms. It felt like a marathon, all right!

I wrote down the filenames for each submission (the 6 of the 8 photos were shot on black and white, and the remaining two didn’t have a large amount of color either,so my submission had a kind of monochromatic feel),
handed my SD card to the guys (who did a splendid job organizing the whole thing),
got my memento voucher of participation, took the card back and left for my house totally exhausted, but with a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment that one feels only on such occasions.

Congratulations to all, both entrants and organisers, for such a wonderful event!
Thank you for taking a look, once again!

Until next post,
Fotis

p.s. All of the entries from the participants can be found on this gallery

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One thought on “On this years Photomarathon, and avoiding cliches – Part 2

  1. Pingback: On this years Photomarathon, and avoiding cliches – Part 1 | Through the Looking Glass

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