• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

My World: How do some public spaces end up so hostile?

Sam Hames

New member
I keep noticing these very depressing and hostile places in my travels, and I always wonder how they end up like this...


Then I stop wondering, because I realise that it's probably overthinking on my part to attribute anything to these kind of places. They exist by chance, little pockets of nothing in between other places. They're rarely used ('cept for crazy people like me). They may be soul crushing, but it would be paranoid of me to assume that's intentional.

PS - Asher, every time I post a photo you suggest it might work in black and white - here's my one for the year :)
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
A sort of No Mans Land, Sam. It's the result of radial construction. The builder/planner/architect starts in the middle and builds outwards until they have finished, which leaves each construction not quite interfacing seamlessly with the ones adjacent. That funny little bit of irregular space is lost and becomes a home for detritus, derelicts and wandering photographers. In the suburbs there is such a space between each home, shop, park and road way. Such places will contain weeds, shopping trolleys, cardboard boxes and plastic containers.
There is such a place between each room in my house.
 

Michael Nagel

Active member
The barbed wire on top of the fence makes it even more depressing - something which was only seen at military installations in this corner of the world. B/w is a good choice here.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
A sort of No Mans Land, Sam. It's the result of radial construction. The builder/planner/architect starts in the middle and builds outwards until they have finished, which leaves each construction not quite interfacing seamlessly with the ones adjacent. That funny little bit of irregular space is lost and becomes a home for detritus, derelicts and wandering photographers. In the suburbs there is such a space between each home, shop, park and road way. Such places will contain weeds, shopping trolleys, cardboard boxes and plastic containers.
There is such a place between each room in my house.
A good answer to a very good photograph. A Asher is right: it works well in B&W.

Sam: how did you get that light?
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
I'm not sure if I agree with Asher on the B&W thing. I think your muted, slightly desaturated, bland colours with all the mid tones and little at the ends suits the suburbs of Brisbane. Even on a good day the whole of Queensland can look like that. The place is like a half cooked pie with a fancy crust frilling the perimeter, lots of crunch on the edge but bland in the middle. The land of beige trousers and white shoes. Escape while you can, Sam. Not much use coming to the NT though, unless you already have the Ute, pit bull and no more than a sq inch of untattooed skin.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
A good answer to a very good photograph. A Asher is right: it works well in B&W.
Jerome,

I think you meant Michael, although I do agree with the entire statement!

The land of beige trousers and white shoes. Escape while you can, Sam. Not much use coming to the NT though, unless you already have the Ute, pit bull and no more than a sq inch of untattooed skin.
Tom,

What on earth's wrong with beige trousers and white shoes,if she wears a killer top? As for your "ute", sounds culturally half-hippy, half red-neck - like they mate cute BMWs with farm trucks!


Sam,

Look at your picture in a boosted sepia version.




Sam Hames: Untitled


You may like it a lot!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I'm not sure if I agree with Asher on the B&W thing. I think your muted, slightly desaturated, bland colours with all the mid tones and little at the ends suits the suburbs of Brisbane.
I was only talking about that picture. I do like the colours in the others, it reminds me of Stephen Shore.
 

Sam Hames

New member
Thanks everyone for your comments and words. It's nice to know I'm not always on a different planet.

The barbed wire on top of the fence makes it even more depressing - something which was only seen at military installations in this corner of the world. B/w is a good choice here.
The barbed wire is brutal - I still can't figure it out. This section doesn't even enclose or 'protect' anything, you can walk right on by. Nearby is a parking lot that is completely enclosed in the stuff, it's bonkers.

A good answer to a very good photograph. A Asher is right: it works well in B&W.

Sam: how did you get that light?
The light is a sodium vapour street light, softened a little by the rain. Behind is a bit of scrub land hence the complete darkness. There's a hint of rain drops against the darkness as well but it's too subtle for the web.
 

Sam Hames

New member
A sort of No Mans Land, Sam. It's the result of radial construction.
...
There is such a place between each room in my house.
That sounds like a testable hypothesis to me. I think I've been working on this idea subconsciously for a long time, so should be some more I can shake free, both new and from the archives.


Sam,

Look at your picture in a boosted sepia version.



Sam Hames: Untitled


You may like it a lot!

Asher
It reminds me of the colour version. For reference:

I'm not sure about the sepia - if only because thinking about toning adds more options when my brain is not really on top of the existing ones. Thanks to your persistence though I am seeing a little more where the absence of colour can be helpful - certainly the minority of situations but that's better than the zero I had going before.

Asher, have we acquainted you with the term bogan yet? Ute's are 100% bogan.

Thanks everyone!
Sam
 

George Holroyd

New member
I like the image and prefer the black and white version. I'd suggest not looking at it as merely the absence of color, but rather a question of presenting light and shadow with a minimum of distraction.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
For what it's worth, Sam, the green is a nice statement here. It reminds me of the carpet in my granny's hallway. She had barbed wire on her fence to keep out the bogans. The council told her to remove it so she threw eggs at them when they came to visit.

By the way, Asher, the beige trousers and white shoes are a trademark of the southern Queensland male of your and my age. Most live in Surfer's Paradise where all real estate agents and used car salesmen retire.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
For what it's worth, Sam, the green is a nice statement here. It reminds me of the carpet in my granny's hallway. She had barbed wire on her fence to keep out the bogans. The council told her to remove it so she threw eggs at them when they came to visit.
I'm constantly amazed by the quality of artists from Australia: this covers especially film and actors as they reach us and photography where I've come to know and be impressed that shooters from down-under are among the ones I admire. At the same time, there's a defensiveness seen in their humor. Australians seem to have a penchant for cruel self-depreciation or else of devaluating others. So people claim to be "began" to show we're not those self-absorbed effete, " champagne sipping snobs!" or else wish separate themselves from this imaginary "lower class" in some modern age class prejudice. "Throwing eggs" would be one such example!

You use this hyper-awareness of class, albeit, allegorically, in almost all quips and reparté. At first it's disconcerting and then it's charming like the long twangy drawl of the Aussie accent we have Americans imitiate on TV to get folk to the "Outback Steak House"!

Asher
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
You should not be amazed, Asher. We are human as well, you know. Feelings and all that ****. You are correct in assuming we do put ourselves down, and others as well. Very egalitarian. I can call my best mate a dickhead, which he is at times, and he in return. I might also suggest I am one to Christine and she would agree. Mind you, if I spilt a beer on someone in a crowded bar and he or she called me a dickhead a fight would most likely ensure and blood would be spilt.
There are strict rules for laying **** on ones fellow countrymen here and it does vary slightly from state to state. But the golden rule is that you never give self praise. The terminology for such action is 'up yourself' and one never should be 'up themselves' for fear of being called a wanker. Bogans aren't up themselves, their just bogans, which is probably quite the opposite. It's probably fair to say that most people on OPF would be seen to be up themselves to some extent but we are such a classless society we consider it our right to mix with such people and put them in their place from time to time, in a nice sort of way, mind you. Then we would eat your food, drink your grog make a pass at your wife or daughter and sleep on your couch. From that point on we would be your very best friend, call you a dickhead from time to time and defend you against all insults from strangers.
After 35 years in Australia Christine is still coming to terms with us, especially me. Only the other day we had lunch with my family. She was very quite. I asked her why. She said everyone was talking at once and she couldn't get a word in. " Shout over the top like everyone else" .
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
You should not be amazed, Asher. We are human as well, you know. Feelings and all that ****. You are correct in assuming we do put ourselves down, and others as well. Very egalitarian. I can call my best mate a dickhead, which he is at times, and he in return. I might also suggest I am one to Christine and she would agree. Mind you, if I spilt a beer on someone in a crowded bar and he or she called me a dickhead a fight would most likely ensure and blood would be spilt.
There are strict rules for laying **** on ones fellow countrymen here and it does vary slightly from state to state. But the golden rule is that you never give self praise. The terminology for such action is 'up yourself' and one never should be 'up themselves' for fear of being called a wanker. Bogans aren't up themselves, their just bogans, which is probably quite the opposite. It's probably fair to say that most people on OPF would be seen to be up themselves to some extent but we are such a classless society we consider it our right to mix with such people and put them in their place from time to time, in a nice sort of way, mind you. Then we would eat your food, drink your grog make a pass at your wife or daughter and sleep on your couch. From that point on we would be your very best friend, call you a dickhead from time to time and defend you against all insults from strangers.
After 35 years in Australia Christine is still coming to terms with us, especially me. Only the other day we had lunch with my family. She was very quite. I asked her why. She said everyone was talking at once and she couldn't get a word in. " Shout over the top like everyone else" .
There's so much texture to your prose, I'd have it in B&W. I'd put away the Pinot for a couple of iced beers, Sierra Nevada or maybe Sam Adams!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I keep noticing these very depressing and hostile places in my travels, and I always wonder how they end up like this...


Then I stop wondering, because I realise that it's probably overthinking on my part to attribute anything to these kind of places. They exist by chance, little pockets of nothing in between other places. They're rarely used ('cept for crazy people like me). They may be soul crushing, but it would be paranoid of me to assume that's intentional.

PS - Asher, every time I post a photo you suggest it might work in black and white - here's my one for the year :)
Yes, Sam,

It does work well in B&W but I also think that a tint added, brings out the ambience of the place! I hope you might be able to search out other like hostile spots and also take along a step ladder or use any other stratagem to get new angles from which to compose and frame. I'm especially interested in this topic as it would seem to fit in our dream of an exhibition on our relationship to spaces. This is a category I'd not have thought of before you brought it up! :)

So do you think you might want to take up the challenge to make siblings for this first picture? It would be valuable if you did!

Asher
 

Sam Hames

New member
For what it's worth, Sam, the green is a nice statement here. It reminds me of the carpet in my granny's hallway. She had barbed wire on her fence to keep out the bogans. The council told her to remove it so she threw eggs at them when they came to visit.
Aren't memory colours interesting? Normally I prefer the colour too, but this time.... I think it's too depressing with it in. It's easier to step back and treat it as unreal when I remove it.

I like the image and prefer the black and white version. I'd suggest not looking at it as merely the absence of color, but rather a question of presenting light and shadow with a minimum of distraction.
That is definitely a more positive, and I guess actionable way of looking at it, thanks.

It's funny though how we all work so differently with colour - 99.9% of photos I take, to remove the colour is to remove what's important to me - the photo is viscerally 'wrong' if I do that. This photo, strip the colour out and there's no little pang inside me, so I'm taking the absence to be an important sign for how this particular photo should work.
 

Sam Hames

New member
Yes, Sam,

It does work well in B&W but I also think that a tint added, brings out the ambience of the place! I hope you might be able to search out other like hostile spots and also take along a step ladder or use any other stratagem to get new angles from which to compose and frame. I'm especially interested in this topic as it would seem to fit in our dream of an exhibition on our relationship to spaces. This is a category I'd not have thought of before you brought it up! :)

So do you think you might want to take up the challenge to make siblings for this first picture? It would be valuable if you did!

Asher
I am definitely thinking of that exhibition. For this idea I have one or two that might fit together already and more are bound to come up. Otherwise I have something else too, whenever I can find the time to get it all together!
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
Sam, colour is like any other element of design and composition. Use it how you will. Its your shot so what we think about the colour is neither here nor there.
Knowing Brisbane reasonably well, I think you record your environment well. It certainly does things for me. All sorts of memories float to the surface. I also think Brisbanites would relate well to your photos. Not as a touristy thing but as a documentary. Your photos show a strange sort of compassion and understanding about the place. Dare I say, a love for the ordinariness of it all. Something very Australian, without being too cliche-ish.
I would also add that you are getting better at it.
More please!
 

Sam Hames

New member
I've done a little bit of mining in my archives and have a few more that might follow the theme as per Asher's suggestion. Haven't had a chance to make any more, but have a few things planned.

I think these two follow the theme nicely:












What do you think?
 

Sam Hames

New member
And bump by way of a few additional more, this time that I'm less sure about including, but still seem to work for me nonetheless.















Thoughts, opinions and rants invited.

Thanks for looking.
Sam
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Anything with barbed wire is intentional. Your photo says so much about what this country, alas, has become.
What it has become? From the first days of the Pilgrim fathers to the pioneers in the West, stockades around the places were normal. In fact, I'd say that we have much less of that. There are no walled in cities, AFASIK in the entire USA! So we have evolved. Once the native Americans were vanquished, there was much less need for the barriers.

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Anything with barbed wire is intentional. Your photo says so much about what this country, alas, has become.
Which country?

What it has become? From the first days of the Pilgrim fathers to the pioneers in the West, stockades around the places were normal. In fact, I'd say that we have much less of that. There are no walled in cities, AFASIK in the entire USA! So we have evolved. Once the native Americans were vanquished, there was much less need for the barriers.

Asher
Native Americans in Brisbane? How surprising.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Native Americans in Brisbane? How surprising.

Well there's still an appetite for their work. See here. Not only did the British send convicts down under, but American Indians also canooed all the way there themselves to sell jewelry and charms against the wrath of the Tasmanian devil!

Asher
 

Sam Hames

New member
Anything with barbed wire is intentional. Your photo says so much about what this country, alas, has become.
I'll take that as anecdata that the world is converging on a homogeneous urban form...

II can't decide if it's better or worse if the barbed wire is intentional or not - can't really understand either way why it would be used.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
You have me going, Sam. I carried your pictures in my head during a recent walk through the back streets of Darwin. Not that we have a lot of back street. I'm putting my own hypothesis to the test. Lots of dead space here. I'll post something later. This is your place.
Some of these shots have a look of abandonment as an added layer. They have served their temporary purpose, no time to move on. The developers will discover it soon and squeeze a block of flats or a servo or pre-school.or all of the above. Meanwhile, each place has its own rough beauty. I like the fence perspective. Sort of keeps us out but we are inquisitive enough to look through or over. Our inquisitive nature to find out what might have been or why it was abandoned. I find myself quietly reflective. Past days when, as a kid, I might have played here or as a teen ager I might have planned some mischief, or as an adult, just to take a shortcut and remember old times along the way.
Photos like this are about the viewer. There may be nothing there but for some its overpowering.
I do enjoy your photos, Sam. Keep them coming.
 

Dawid Loubser

New member
I like the "glow" of the illumination - I guess you used flash? In South Africa, we have many walled-up and fenced-up areas like this in our cities - and then immense, unspoilt open spaces between.

It's not only barbed wire that keep people out, but sometimes less imposing, almost futile barriers like this low farm gate I encountered about a year ago (which your image reminded me of):

Chain of locks

(Zuiko Digital 7-14mm, Olympus E-5, processed in Darktable)

There are many symbolisms in my image that I'd like to discuss, in the context of my country (also written on the locks :) - but I don't want to hijack this thread. Just wanted to share.

No need to ask my opinion on black and white vs colour. There is only one wat to fly for me...
 

Sam Hames

New member
I like the "glow" of the illumination - I guess you used flash? ...

There are many symbolisms in my image that I'd like to discuss, in the context of my country (also written on the locks :) - but I don't want to hijack this thread. Just wanted to share.
No flash - this is lit from one or maybe two overhead fluorescent street lights

This is an interesting comparison, thank you - I'd like to hear/see more about it.

Sam
 
Top