photo sharing and upload picture albums photo forums search pictures popular photos photography help login
Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Twenty Five: Stimulating the imagination with “opposites and contradictions” > Opposite paths, Central Park, New York City, New York, 2013
previous | next

Opposite paths, Central Park, New York City, New York, 2013

I climbed a hill overlooking a pedestrian pathway and created three separate panels with my image by including the three trees that move diagonally through the frame. I photographed many people moving in opposite directions along the sidewalk, but the picture did not work as expression until the dog walker at center veered off the path and headed away from me into the barren field between the trees. At that same moment, a couple was walking through the left hand panel, while a single pedestrian was just about the leave the third panel at far right. The couple walks to left in unison, the dog follows its walker off into the field, and the single pedestrian at right charges the image with jarring tension by touching the edge of the picture with both a toe and an arm. Each party also appears different from the others – the man at left wears bright red vest that energizes the image, the person leaving the image at right wears a checked purple shirt, and both the walker and her dog appear in neutral black. The photograph speaks of the contrasting differences between the users of a park, as well as the multitude of contrasting options a park can offer. All who come to use it march to the beat of their own drums.

FujiFilm X-M1
1/200s f/5.6 at 50.0mm iso400 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
previous | next
Phil Douglis14-Oct-2014 21:25
There are actually two pairs here -- the couple (which notably includes a man in a bright red vest), and the man with the dog. The scene could very well suggest alienation, because these figures seem to be pulling apart and are moving in three opposing directions. However, as you note, the "togetherness" of the couple, one of which wears that warm red vest, along with the green grass, and the symbolic humane relationship of the man to his dog, save the image from bleakness, and turn it into a story of individual and independent choice. Thanks, Tim, for giving us so much food for thought here.
Tim May14-Oct-2014 17:35
I love the bleakness of the grass - It gives the image a sense of monochromaticness - yes the color adds the sense that we are dealing with humans here - people with hearts and lives. I also like the fact that there is one pair here - so the image is saved from a complete sense of alienation.
Phil Douglis23-Feb-2014 19:59
Thanks, Dick, for sharing your view on this image with me. I'm glad it made an impression.
Photo.Keely22-Feb-2014 21:26
Interesting image! V.
Phil Douglis08-Nov-2013 23:39
You caught my point exactly, Carol. There seems to be very little pressure to conform in a community where neighbors are often virtually anonymous. Everyone is indeed free to do their own thing, marching off to the beat of their own drum. And that is how I ended my caption above.
Carol E Sandgren08-Nov-2013 18:30
One thing about NYC seems to be the freedom of every single person there to go their own way in their own direction. You have demonstrated this admirably in your photograph!
Type your message and click Add Comment
It is best to login or register first but you may post as a guest.
Enter an optional name and contact email address. Name
Name Email
help private comment