Peridot Passage

Stairwell at Shirlington, VA

I’ve photographed this passageway and its twin before. Let me be clear: I don’t think this stairwell in Shirlington is a gem of architectural genius. On most objective grounds it’s darn ugly.

And yet, there’s something about the shapes and rhythms, the patterns of light and dark, the loops of the handrail, the river of light above—something in all this tickles my aesthetic nerve (for want of a better term). I’m drawn to it, repeatedly. It’s worth asking myself why; I think I might learn something about my own taste if I can find an answer.

The exposure on this image is pretty darned awful too: 1/17th of a second on my iPhone. You do not want to see what the noise on this thing looks like (despite the supposed and I believe completely bogus claim of ISO 400). I manipulated the bejeesus out of this image to improve the overall image quality and—to be frank—make it look less like a photograph. That, at least, tells me that whatever the arcane appeal of this location, it has nothing to do with my desire to make a document.

A Year Ago: Sail On

Building facade, South Beach, MiamiWith yet another end-of-days meme on its way—Hurricane Irene, which I have dubbed Irenegnarok
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