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The Space Needle – Seattle Center – Lower Queen Anne – Seattle, WA

The Space Needle shows up frequently on lists of the most photographed places on earth. Without a doubt it has been colorized, posterized, reflected, shot from below, shot from afar, underexposed, overexposed, shot at the night and during the day, its grown out of heads, the number impossible to say, leaning, straight, yes, it is Seattle’s number one place to photograph. And for good reason – it is an elegant structure.

Partly because I frequently walk through the Seattle Center and partly because I have lived in and around Seattle most of my life I have come to learn the standard Space Needle shots. One of my favorite is when the photographer is shooting upward from waist level with a few people in the frame. I like to think of these as fire hydrant shots; something akin to a dog marking its territory.

Almost without exception, regardless of the time of day, I see this specific image being taken when I walk through the Seattle Center, often multiple times in the few minutes it takes me traverse the place. I find this a most joyful thing to observe.

In the Skagit Valley post I wrote briefly about trying to see a subject from a different point view. In that image the major difference, when compared to the typical tulip field shot, is when it was shot. In this image, the notion about seeing differently comes from trying to deconstruct the structure into component parts while still retaining the common understanding of it. To the point: using a specific point of view yields a naturally occurring cubist representation of the structure.

These two ideas, when and point of view, were not easily learned and most certainly not yet mastered; nor am I speaking strictly in terms of photography either. Many things we do in life are framed by these types of questions. Henri Cartier-Bresson and his concept of the decisive moment, “There is nothing in this world that does not have a decisive moment”, expresses the heart of my notions of seeing differently, seeing clearly, and seeing with a decisive point of view. On the other hand maybe the idea is to listen to the tick of time and to know when to open your eyes.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.

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