It was the curtain that caught my eye – but at first I didn’t see anything very special about this tableau as I was walking around Caddo Gap, Arkansas photographing some of it’s interesting old buildings … I framed a few quick shots of it and moved on to the next. However after processing the shots that evening, this one quickly became my favorite of the whole batch – and the more I looked at it, the more I found to see in it. A few reasons I like it so much are…
The mix of colors, light and texture is what you notice first, and your eye immediately zeros-in on that gypsy-looking curtain as standing out in contrast to the reds in the scene. The next thing that draws your eye is the metal hoop to the left of the door.
Why would your eye pick out that circle so quickly? Because it’s the most contradictory shape in the picture! Now look at it again and you’ll see that the entire scene is composed almost entirely of rectangle shapes. The circle of the hoop is a very obvious break in the visual rhythm, and it’s superimposed on a trapezoid shape that is about the only other non-rectangle in the image … though if you start to look you’ll find a suggestion of a triangle in the wire rack under the windows on the right, and if you really look you’ll notice a few more triangles under the tables. (And if you want to be sublime about it – that patch of bright sun on the left forms another triangle.)
Not tired of squinting at it yet? Check this out (you may need to view it full-size) : This is actually a cinder-block building (at least the front is), but the cinder-block has been prettied-up by adding some molding to the outside of it to give it some texture. Stare at an individual block and you’ll see this “stamped texture” casting shadows on it … and now look at the one next to it. And the one next to that, and so on … the exact same pattern is repeated in each block like a series of rubber-stamps. (This is most noticeable if you let your eye travel along the top row of blocks.)