Playing in Puddles


Have you ever peered into a puddle to see what you might find? It can be a bit like Alice going down the rabbit hole. Sometimes the unexpected is found down there. And sometimes, for me, the scene it holds can stop me in my tracks. Last night I found my city in a puddle; a dark, liquidy, mysterious, upside down, mirrored world. One that, as I stared at it, I wanted to pass through and enter... a night blue, shadowy, empty cityscape. The scene that the puddle held was so much more visually intriguing to me, and it held my attention unlike the same scene that actually stood before me. It was a new interpretation of my city. A city that I know so well.

What made this puddle most interesting was that the puddle was not made of water, it was a liquidy white substance that was pooling into the street from the head of an alleyway. The white liquid made a perfect surface to catch the dark blue tone of the night sky giving the cityscape that it held a wonderful blue monotone. And the slight breeze that came and went altered the watery scene with each shot I took. The golden glow of the paint on the restaurant sign wonderfully remained in the reflection.

Visual interpretation with a camera is, of course, a very personal experience. In the end my images will only reveal how I choose to reorganize and interpret what is in front of me, and that is often far from reality. At least it is for me as a photographer. And that's the absolute pleasure I find in working through the viewfinder. So if I'm walking home after dinner one night and I find a new interpretation of my city in a puddle, of course the camera will come out to capture a fleeting image of a city that doesn't really exist and I know won't be there the next time I walk by.