I don’t spend nearly enough time on rooftops

Venetian pavement 2009

A man walks up Krúdy Gyula utca carrying a pair of chopsticks… No joke. I was stting outside Fictiv enjoying a Saturday evening constitutional, and had his progress in full view. Eyes down, he would stop very so often and use the chopsticks to prise coins from the pavement joints. What a way to make a living. Two memories came to mind: one of this footpath in Venice and another of the start of the old Mary Tyler Moore show.  In stark contrast, she always walked with her head held high. Her view of the world was slightly different to most.

(C) Steve Fareham

Back when I was living in London, S&P came to visit. We were wandering around Piccadilly as S wanted to see the Piccadilly divers. I was convinced she was raving. I have a thing about statues, and couldn’t believe I’d missed something that obvious. I was sure she had the wrong address. But there they were. My problem? I’d never taken the time to look up.

While in Zagreb last year, I spent an amazing afternoon at the cemetery and took lots of carefully chosen photographs. And yet, just last week, when looking for photos, I came across one I don’t remember. I remember taking it, but I don’t remember seeing it.  I don’t remember it being so deep.

Looking at another of Kerényi Zoltán’s photo albums, perspective comes to mind, yet again. Taken from the rooftops of Budapest, they give a completely different focus to the city. I though I knew the city well, but there are some vantage points that I cannot place. I’ve probably passed them a hundred times but have never seen them from this particular angle. I don’t spend nearly enough time on rooftops.

As Ani Difranco said When I look down, I miss all the good stuff. When I look up I just trip over things. It’s all a matter of perspective.

2 replies
  1. Peter
    Peter says:

    Cameras are great for producing pictures but not necessarily for understanding a place for this you need to stop and look……….really look, comprehending the hows and whys, peel back layers, pick up the ‘hidden’ clues and features……..even if you don’t consider yourself to be an artist trying to sketch a place slows you down and forces you to understand why it is what it is. You will see more places and have the pictures to prove it with a camera but I think that it can be far more satifying standing and spending a bit more time really looking at and appreciating a scene.

    The Zagreb picture is tremendous, no accident, what a scene for a cemetery……..the distant view that goes on and on and then just disapears around a bend, I would like to think that that view has helped many grieving relatives.

    • Mary
      Mary says:

      Doubt many of the grieving relatives would notice. I didn’t really, until I saw the photo. One of the joys of a digital camera. You can take and take and take … But composing photos is along the lines of an artist sketching – you look at things differently and you see things you never noticed before. Composition takes on new meaning.

      Mary Murphy http://www.stolenchild66.wordpress.com


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