Saturday, January 9, 2010

Riding That Train . . .

There is so much I want to share in this space with all of you good people out there . . . most days I hardly know where to start. It all seems urgent, it all clamors for attention on the screen and in the corners of my cluttered mind . . . I can only thank you for bearing with me as this show unfolds in its haphazard manner . . .
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When I came down from the top of the tower in Paris there a few days after Christmas, I boarded a train to the West, and for the next four hours read a book about WWI and listened to music while watching the rolling hills slide by the train windows. But at a couple of spots I couldn't resist getting the camera out, very self-consciously in the confines of the train wagon, and while pretending to shoot out the window, I was actually interested in the window itself, or the reflections in it. Reflections of the interior overlaying the exterior on a platform somewhere in Brittany. Especially a father and his son. The boy was staring out the window, obviously in a dream . . . something quietly beautiful to me appeared there, perhaps remembering something from my own childhood . . .
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39 comments:

@eloh said...

These are all so interesting. Things you sit down to look at in a gallery. My favorite is #2 followed closely by #4.

#2 seems to have so many stories intersecting in a moment of time.

Liz said...

Sigh... just beautiful.

Pat said...

So interesting...I love to capture people unaware. I love the idea of the little boy just staring out the window.....These are great reflection shots. I really enjoyed them!

Gena said...

Wonderful post and great reflections! I adore the father and son one most!!!
happy weekend
Gena

TheUndertaker said...

Awesome shots, Mr Toad. Well worthy of hanging on the walls of Toadhall, indeed...

Lydia said...

Owen! The third shot is amazing! All are super, but the vintage haze of the closer-up view of the father and son is so evocative, hearkening to an earlier time that I do not know but am grateful existed.

(I also loved your first two sentences in this post.)

Jilly said...

Beautiful shot. I long to ask the little boy what he is thinking but of course he'd not answer other than to say 'nothing.' The father, somehow, seems loaded with worries, doesn't he? These scenes make one want to write a short story - if only I had the time...

Steve said...

Love the warm yellows of the first two. The last two contain so much poignancy and humanity... there's a complete story there waiting for someone to tease it out!

Stine in Ontario said...

So much to reflect on in these photos. Nice!

magnoliaamber said...

Like life. Passing by fast.

Great photos! I love the last one!

cieldequimper said...

Hi Owen, bonne année !
These are great, you should link them to James' blog right now!
Bon w/e !

BLOGitse said...

What a great series! beautiful!
Have a relaxing weekend!

awarewriter said...

A dreamlike journey. Your photos and words convey wonderful feelings. I like these images very much.

TechnoBabe said...

Each picture is different, emotes various responses. Great photos and even better that you were grappling with your own inner feelings at the time.

clo said...

elles sont belles tes photos owen...
avec une petite tendresse pour les deux dernieres....
tres poetique...:o)
je t'embrasse...

AmyR said...

What a brilliant way to catch people candidly. There are so many emotions in these four photographs.

jeff said...

Quel plaisir de voir enfin chez toi des photos floues, qui appellent aux rêves, à réfléchir, à se poser, à laisser le temps filer...
J'aime beaucoup ces reflexions faites contre la vitre du train...
Tu m'épates et en demande plus ! Allez... Tombe la chemise !
...Enfin... garde quand même le par-dessus si tu sors de chez toi ! ! !

Ciao amigofrigo !
Et mets des chaussettes...

louciao said...

In my own humble opinion (as my mother is fond of saying), these are excellent photos. The layers of imagery and implied meaning in the first two post-modernist "captures" (intentional or otherwise) make me want to linger and ponder. Full of movement and colour and life. It's wonderful how clear the images are, in spite of the layering of fields (or lack of them, as they are all reflected in a pane of glass).

This series also particularly resonates with me because I love travelling by train: that momentary stasis of being responsible to no one, obligated to do nothing; just sitting, gazing and reflecting on the scenery without or within. Being in transit, being in between departure and destination.

The second grouping of two, the young boy and his father, seem timeless and dreamlike. They remind me of the children and time of Enid Blyton stories or the Narnia books. They speak to me of time past and passing, childhood dreams and wonders, contrasted with the burdens of adulthood, responsibilities, aging.

Lovely, BrOwen. I am definitely tripping here, in more ways than over my own words.

Catherine said...

These are very evocative shots - as you say the blurriness of the double layer seems to create a sense of wistful nostalgia that you can't quite put your finger on........

J said...

These are the kind of photos that you want to create a story for. The blurriness and awareness of motion creates a sense of time passing, the 'this moment has happened and will never happen again' feeling I got when I was looking at these.

It also reminds me that I need to carry a pocket camera with me, as I've missed some stunning photos from trains/stations recently as much as I love my SLR it's not exactly small.

Trillian said...

I really like trains and your photos...nice shots!

Christine Robinson said...

Wow, Owen. What a fascinating perspective from both a written and visual point of view! I love these photos. They say so much, and are pleasing to the eye for the contrasts.

Two thumb up!!

Christine

Deborah said...

Trying to read their static body language, I see them as sad, Estranged, maybe. I like your eye, Owen.

Rain said...

Very cool, the black and white could almost be mistaken for an old photograph taken in the early part of the century! PS: I know what you mean about feeling self-conscious when taking photos!! That's why I usually stick to the woods, lol! I heard Paris was uber cold this Saturday, stay warm!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

What interesting effects.

Funnily enough I have been looking for decent interior train shots lately to make a book jacket design for a specific novel (surprisingly hard to find). Sadly they need to be of a British train and with a grim view out of the window/a man in pinstripes sitting in one of the seats.

I have concluded I will need to create such by montaging several images on Photoshop.

Janie said...

Your pictures have a dreamy quality that does bring on reflection and remembrances...

mbkatc230 said...

These are stunningly beautiful images. The colors are wonderful, and the reflections are very evocative. My favorite is the third, it could almost be a Hopper painting. Just love these! Kathy

Jo said...

Once again, Owen, your pictures took my breath away. There is a whole world in those photographs.

Oh, goodness!

James said...

Hi Owen, I really like these pictures. They quietly stir feelings and emotions in me. That's one of the great qualities of good photographs.

Carolyn said...

These are all beautiful shots and each tell a very unique story. As a traveller I too love to watch people and find reflections often tell a much better story.
Smiles

Stickup Artist said...

I'm always so interested by what catches the eye and imagination of other photographers. You grasp these intimate moments that normally go unnoticed, tell a story, create emotions, and awaken in the viewer a thought process... the old lady walking the dog in the park series, the leaves holding on tenaciously a few posts back to name a few, and this. The world passing by, reflected through the innocent eyes of a child, lacking the filters of an adult. So small, so touching, so monumental. Lovely.

distracted by shiny objects said...

These are fabulous. Really.

The Sagittarian said...

You ol' pervert!!

Wonderful photos tho' and isn't it thrilling to 'sneak' photos, I love doing that but haven't had as much success as you have here!

Owen said...

To Each and Every One of you...

I am overwhelmed by your exceedingly kind remarks here, and cannot express how much your thoughts mean to me here...

Between Work, family, Winter!, and a project in the works, I'm feeling challenged for time right now, please accept this "global" answer... I'd love to answer all individually, but time and sleep are short these days... but I'm reading with great interest all of your feedback...

:-)

This train ride really was a dreamy occasion, as I snoozed for a while too... an woke up in that semi-dreamlike state of emerging from a nap... And I hope someone may find inspiration for a piece of writing based on the boy looking out the window next to his father...

ρομπερτ said...

Dear Owen, hope that everything is fine with you and that weather is not too cold.
Indeed the windows of a train can provide 'incredible moments' - maybe it was the 'heart' that the father did find, while looking at the reflection of his son.
Understanding that all of a sudden one stops to live for one self, but from then on, for someone else.
Just a few thoughts, which did "hit" me while looking at your photography, being also a bit under influence of 1 Ms 22 - which I would like to "discuss" in eleven days time.
A wonderful start into the new week for you all.

Sar@h said...

J'aime bien cette série … Je n'ose pas photographier les gens dans le quotidien de la vie … et pourtant, mon œil en fait plein !

Nathalie said...

I remember doing the same thing on my Sydney suburban train and coming with up with some pretty spectacular results. Love yours.

the watercats said...

fantastic!..

just...

fantastic!

Roxana said...

this is hauntingly beautiful, Owen - the dream boy, the secret yet so apparent intimacy between father and sun - tales of time passing, of traveling and childhood, of becoming - eternal tales old and always new...

thank you, it is a most precious gift.