Saturday, October 20

Not Pompeii: Almost

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"Photographs give people an imaginary possession of a past (or place) that is unreal..." - Susan Sontag

Controlling the light is a battle that's normally lost to the traveler. In the case of Rome, obstacles made it impossible for me to arrive in the city much before 11am... HORROR CONTRASTS! Which means from the bleached out lemon light, I had to make lemonade.

Romans hang their laundry: an old-fashioned custom until you realize that their daily warm sun make clothes dryers a careless waste. Still, hanging lines with pennants of vivid clothes a-flutter are a charming time-trip to memories of cities where human wisps smudged the harsh lines of modern metal and crystal angles.

This scene of the lady-with-pearls was a perfect memory which I never had of a past-place except, damn! The mid-day sun which warmed her clothes was was dreadful. Which brings me to Pompeii (a place I’ll revisit here maybe next week).

I took some shots of two-millennia old walls from that recovered city. And as I looked at the Lady-Of-The-Laundry, Susan Sontag’s words careened through my head. “Hmmmmm,” I muttered. “What if…. What if this women was doing her daily hanging there, on the day before Vesuvius went, WOOOMP! What if the stone walls broke up that light? What if…..”

NOTE: You will often find in-depth descriptions of this Italian visit among the comments-section below both as I add onto them and as you prompt my memory. I'll try to restrict my thoughts exclusively to today's image here on the home page and enlarge upon them in the comments attachments to a day’s posting as the discussions unravel. Those comments begin here. To follow the thread chronologically start at October 7th.


Chad Oneil Myers said...

Very cool image.

...My Leaf images were taken in the mountains of Fulton County.

advman said...

Ahh, Italy and laundry! I love it. And they have very ingenious devices. Laundry lines that span a narrow street, but that you can move with a crank, in order to get a free piece of line into your reach. I suppose here it was something similar.

Nice image, nice treatment.


Thomas said...

Actually, for me that line of laundry spells "Porto". That's not that far away and they seem to have similar traditions and of course weather. So I guess, the memory the photo sparks depends on where you have been last.

That lady certainly completes the scenery. Ok, now for a glass of Port down at the river...;)

pnfphotography said...

I like everything about this image! most excellent ! We have a neighbor who puts their clothes on the fence line where they keep their horses the funny thing is their horses never touch them If I did that my horse would pick up every piece and take it for a twirl in the field.

mcmurma said...

Really Ted, save something for later! You are blasting us with so many excellent images of late that I can hardly think of a thing to say.

Your ppl shots, especially, have left me at a loss for words. They are just great. This one, and the Priest and Guard... wow. I have been pondering them for days and can only say that "I'm not worthy!"

The treatment with both is exemplary. Very fine stuff indeed.

John Roberts said...

A simply composed photo that tells such a story about the local culture. Still, I'm glad I have a yard for our clothesline.