The view is always exciting
I don’t like horror movies, for the most part, but Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 movie “Rear Window” has always been a favorite, even before I was a photographer. As intriguing as Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly are in the film, though, it’s the power of Cornell Woolrich’s original short story, where the reader doesn’t find out the main character’s leg is broken until the last sentence, that provides such deep suspense. Hitchcock took that story, playing on basic fears, and made us all question which of our neighbors might be a murderer.
The movie is also a reminder to be careful of where one points their camera.
Windows create interesting subjects on both sides of the glass whether they’re at the front, rear, or side of a building. Even on a cloudy day, the way the light comes through the glass, filtered by dirt, rain, and changes in the material composition, influences what we see or what we think we see. A person’s height, state of dress, or a plant behind them are potentially illusions misguided by the angle from which one is viewing. What we think we see is not always accurate.
Yet, the camera doesn’t lie, does it? Sure, digital manipulation has brought photography a long way from the grainy photos of 1954 film, but manipulation takes extra effort I’m rarely willing to indulge on the first pass. Still, in the deep shadows that allow one’s mind to alter reality, what we think we know isn’t always true. Black and white images seem so clear but at the same time allow so much to be hidden.
Can you trust what your eyes see or am I just messing with your head, giving you a reason to examine the photos more carefully? I’m not telling. Consider what the camera sees from this side of the window. Pay attention to where the light falls. This is just another Sunday morning.
As always, click any of the thumbnails below to view the images full screen. A larger device enhances the view.