Monochrome Mondays


Sometimes I feel guilty about the nature of photography. In many ways it can often be thought of as capturing someone else’s art in a unique way. Take a building or a bridge. Someone else designed and built those structures, but here I am taking a photograph of it, trying to get streaks across the sky but the focal point is someone else’s art. Take bird photography as another example. A bird is just doing what it does, flitting about from here to there and trying to survive when along comes a photographer with a zoom lens trying to capture the perfect blend of movement and light. Even street photography, which I have come to really enjoy seeking. I would never dream of profiting from a photo of someone else’s hard work, but there are others who probably do. In many ways the game has changed so rapidly the last few years since virtually everyone has a camera phone, even if they don’t have a camera.

But then there are rare days (or nights) when I am able to capture something unique, and something that I feel is closer to the origins of photographic art. It happened the other night. I was feeling a bit restless around midnight or so, and grabbed my camera and just walked a block or two down the street to some industrial buildings. I figured maybe with no one around I could do a little experimenting with camera settings. I did take a few shots that I was pleased with, but as I turned around and started heading back something caught my eye. Perfectly framed against the side of a building was the shadow of the street signs. It almost looked too unreal, like what you would see from a projector. Being Halloween time, it almost was a little spooky as well. I actually paused for a moment to think about if it was worth taking, but I figured why not. I have been trying to be more experimental these days anyway. When in doubt, the delete button on the camera works wonders after all. So I took the photo. A few minutes later I was viewing it on the laptop and it reminded me in a small way of some of the experiments early photographers like Alfred Stieglitz who was a master of light and shadow. The photo does not mean anything, I don’t think it gives off any particular vibe, but I just like it. It feels faintly surreal to me and unlike a bridge, bird, or street art photo, it is something I made my own. And I like that.

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle


6 thoughts on “Monochrome Mondays

  1. Keith Pajkowski

    Rob, son’t guilt trip over being a documentarian. As J-L Godard famously said: “Photography is truth … (cinema is truth at 24 fps.). ”

    Now that you have your skills with still photo, have you considered tackling motion pictures? It’s a challenge, it will make you very nervous but think you can pull it off. Price of entry is steep, I know.

    Keep up the good work,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Keith. I’m not really guilt tripping, it was more of an offhanded observation and thought. I like that quote and I have thought about branching off into video. The cost is steep as you say, but more than that, I seem to be developing deeper ideas on the writing side. I’m currently writing a book off and on but plan on devoting some real serious time towards it soon. And in the last 6 weeks or so I have really stepped up my photography thanks to a number of artistic and personal decisions I have made. All of which is helping get my stuff out there more and for right now at least, feel that is the best place to devote some time. Thanks as always.


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