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Guest Editors: The top 3 posts – James Barisic

by Darren

Every Friday for the past 13 weeks I’ve asked someone to guest edit the website and select three or four of my images to comment on.  We’ll continue with the guests next week, but for one week only I thought it would be nice to pause and reflect upon those contributions, and choose my top 3.  A difficult task.

The number 3 spot goes to James Barisic, lawyer extraordinaire and PhotoLegal co-host.  You can see some of James’ photos and join in discussions on the big issues of the day such as Brown Sauce: good or evil? at his website – Socialholic.

Many contributors have used posts to make us think beyond the image, such as Neil Richards who talked about issues such as fox hunting and whether we have a right to see particular animals such as giraffes, but it was this post below by James which really made me sit up and think.  His questions about how we should treat natural landscapes and whether we should build infrastructure like roads through beauty spots (bearing in mind the other side of the coin – that without that road I wouldn’t have been there) really do reflect on our attitudes as the dominant species on this planet.

It also shines out for me because I can remember seeing the scene as we drove through northern Spain earlier this year and yelling for my mate Chris to stop the car so I could take an image.  I often find that after making a picture, especially of something that’s not moving, I’ll look at it briefly (some may call this chimping) to check the exposure and composition.  Usually I’ll see something that I want to change and I’ll make another image.  Sometimes I’ll decide, then or afterwards during review at home that the original was better anyway, but this is the only image I can ever remember making where I captured it, looked at the back of the camera, and after several awkward seconds that didn’t feel at all right, concluded there was nothing I wanted to do differently.

Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough – here’s James’ post, which appropriately was called “Messing with my mind”.

Don’t you just love when a photo just grabs you and then messes with your thought processes?

I am so conflicted about this picture, it’s not true. I absolutely love the clean lines of the road and the way it disappears into the forest on the other side as if it was never really there in the first place. I also find the juxtaposition of the natural and the industrial quite beautiful in a strange way.

And then the more I look at it, the louder the voice in my head gets until it’s shouting ‘What a terrible place to put a road! Look how amazing that valley could have been without the road! What an awful scar on the landscape!’

The bridge, at the same time, blends into its environment and destroys what was a naturally beautiful place. But, then again, I suppose that is what we do, isn’t it?

And that’s what a photo does – makes us stop, look and think.

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