By Katherine Johnson
Red Shopping Carts – 112 W Galer St – Seattle, WA 98119
I shot this photograph in the parking lot of the Upper Queen Anne Trader Joe’s store which has since moved to a location where there is no parking lot. The main themes in this photograph are simple and direct: a limited color palette and hard repetition.
There is also a more subtle idea in this photograph.
From time to time I have had long time film photographers ask me what format camera I use such as a 4×5 or 2×3. Because they are highly skilled at perfecting what fits into a frame they expect images to exhibit a certain aspect ratio and when they see one the doesn’t obviously fit one of those they can have a mental hiccup. This is a reasonable point of view.
Digital imagery is far freer with respect to aspect ratio and because of this the artist has the freedom to define one that fits the subject. This idea may seem like I am assigning bloated importance to shooting small panoramas. After all one could overshoot a scene and crop to the desired finished size, a position I too, find completely reasonable.
One area where the idea of making the frame fit the scene becomes extremely useful is when shooting architecture with limited step back distance (This is also known as big stuff up close). I have encountered this exact situation repeatedly and you can find at least one or two examples in my work.
A second area where I have used this technique is when shooting landscapes (this is also known as big stuff not up close) because it allows the artist capture scenes that match how we see the world. 70mm movies exploit this way of seeing. Because I grew up loving those films I am not surprised that way of seeing shows up in my work.
This image was selected by King County Metro (Bus People) to be used as bus stop art. This honor isn’t quite in the same class as being selected by National Geographic but, hey, I take what I can get. The bus stop in questions is at 723 NE 40th St Seattle, Washington which is west of the University of Washington. Please wave if you happen to be driving by.
Copyright 2016 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved