Concrete and Dreams

Concrete and dreams, imaging options abound, but for me the wrong kind of 'Jungle'...

Concrete and Neon, the Japanese way

Stuck in Concrete, Dreaming of the Wilderness…

Concrete may not be the same colour as the jungles I often wish I was shooting in. Alas, when situations and life deal you with a set of cards it’s always best to play them as wisely as possible. Whilst I’m planning to change the direction of this particular chapter in my life it is also a chapter that I embrace. Concrete is grey, the jungles I seek are green. Concrete is rigid, my favoured jungles are pliable, they bend with the wind and sometimes excessively so. Concrete is cold to the touch, I seek the myriad textures of nature, those which convey their magic even to eyes that cannot see. Concrete, I long thought, was not my friend. But as I travel though this segment in my life that has been excessive in its absence from wild open spaces I find myself strangely attracted to the rigidity and greyness of my surrounds. 

One thing I do a lot of when out and about in the wilds is to look up, the physical aspect of peering into treetops for hidden photographic subjects be they avian, feline or other. It’s part and parcel of the wildlife and landscape photographers modus operandi. Seeking out compositional elements, potential photographic subjects, textures and such. Alas when we find ourselves in the urban environment how many of us really take stock of our surroundings? In these modern times where it seems we live in aggressive societies one way to avoid confrontation is to keep one’s eyes averted. How sad it is that we decide to sacrifice being able to really see our surroundings through fear of pissing off someone with a troubled or paranoid mind. We also become complacent to our immediate surroundings, especially when they are those in which we may have grown up. Where is the appeal in the back alley that cuts between Main Street and Highway Road for example? It’s the same old drab, litter strewn, fuse box wall hosting mess of wires, cables and graffiti tags as it has always been. And yet it has appeal. It tells a story of urban life in that immediate location if we only stopped to read it.

As I delve more into imaging in the urban environment I find myself looking up more, I peek down the alley ways as in the image above shot behind the neon facade that is ‘La Citadella’ shopping centre in Kawasaki City, Japan. It is my idea of that aforementioned alleyway between Main Street and Highway Road. It is the junction boxes that feed the glittering neon signs on Main Street enticing people to watch movies, drink coffee and buy the latest gadget. It’s the stomping ground of the lost teenagers ‘tagging’ their way through adolescence, trying to find their place in life. Mr. Shimura’s bicycle rests against the fence as normal, is he once again visiting the nimble maidens who ply their trade from the nearly tower blocks or storing up on his nightly intake of Sake, the precursor to his nocturnal serenades? Does that vending machine still have the selection button for the Orange Juice covered with chewing gum? There is a story in that Alleyway. Can you see it?

I am not a wildlife photographer less, but a Pixel Hobo more…

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