Bye, Weekly Photo Challenge!

The last ever weekly photo challenge is titled ‘All Time Favourites’ – give or take ‘u’. It’s hard to mark the passing of this much loved event appropriately.  I’m starting off by sharing a few  favourite shots I’ve been saving until the right prompt came around. I’m pretty sure these would never have seen the light of day now the challenge is ending so, while there’s still time, here goes!

Utility box with painting of tree and street scene

Jane Brewster’s street art shows part of the New Orleans street it is on, if my memory is correct. I like the way life plays with art and the dark shadows echo the dark trunk of the painted tree in this image. It provokes lots of ideas, for example, my eye plays with the angles of the shadows and the perspective in the painting. It’s funny how life seems to be framing the painting and how life seems more abstract than art. In retrospect I could have used it for ‘Reflections’, although it would have been a fairly subtle connection.  Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows

Neon green luchador mask

Neon green luchador mask by Todd Saunders with reflections from the studio window

These images would seem a mismatch, were it not for the weekly photo challenge. We were lucky to meet Todd Saunders earlier this year at his studio in Austin, Texas. He crafts neon artwork with a retro, pop art style. Todd also collects roadside iconography and fairground relics (if you have a clown phobia, don’t ask to go in the backyard). His studio has one of the most instantly recognisable walls in Austin. It is tempting to abandon thoughts of windows and post about Todd instead, but… (masters the impulse)… that’s best left for another day when I can do him justice.

For today, I’ll just point out the weird effect created by photographing the luchador mask through a window and superimposing power lines, blue sky, clouds and a tree. If we could see thoughts, they might look something like this. I love the distressed effect of the metal too.   Continue reading

In The Shadows

I like the way the colours harmonise these contrasting images, while the shadows add complexity and atmosphere. The first image needs a little explanation: it shows a ballgown displayed on a headless mannequin, as part of a store display. We’re peering in through the window.

The object in the foreground is a small tree, complete with rootball, sprayed white, hung from the roof and decorated with a galaxy of trailing stars. I hope the tree was already dead as there’s no way back from this!  The decorative floor pattern seems to work perfectly with the mix of spotlights, dark shadows and an ethereal mesh of lowlights created by the tree installation. The red lampshades draw our attention to the dress. Continue reading

Americana: Neon Signs

Broken Spoke sign

Our eye is often caught by things that seem a little exotic. This week’s photo challenge (names) has reminded me to share images of neon branding signs you can hardly miss seeing. The last sign in particular is the kind we don’t often see in the UK.

The first decorates the entrance of Broken Spoke, on Lamar Boulevard in Austin, TX. Dating back to 1964, you’ll see this country music venue variously described as a honky-tonk, the earliest stomping grounds of Willie Nelson or the last of the true Texas Dancehalls.  Continue reading