Martin Bartholmy Just Walking

16 Jan

Ok, I admit it – over the years I did take a few pictures from a car (I don’t drive), a couple even from a train or plane. But that’s just because I carry a camera most of the time, and sometimes, though not often, I’m stuck inside a conveyance with windows that is spiriting me away to someplace else. When I was still living in Berlin, I never took a picture on the underground, a bus, tram etc. because that’s more for taking pictures of people, which I don’t do. Nothing wrong with it as such, I guess – it just doesn’t suit me. Most of the time I’m at my desk and, because I’m static, I don’t take pictures there either. For me, photography has to do with movement and places, with patterns and shapes, with objects in space – objects that frequently take on a life of their own.
And that’s the thing – the mysterious doings of things. People who shoot animal documentaries spent months in camouflage in order to get a few seconds of beastly activity on film. With objects – be they street lamps, cones, pipes, bins, or cars – this doesn’t work. They’re not shy like forest musk deer, not at all, they live on a very different plane – we reify them and they, in turn, anthropomorphise. However, as soon as we stop to observe and study them as if they were alive, they not only play possum, no, they become completely inanimate, that is, they’re not even a carcass, they’re just stuff that never was and never will be alive. The only way to get a tiny glimpse of their secret doings is to be on the move yourself and take pictures as you move along, hardly without ever stopping.
Which is why I never wait for the right light, for something or someone to get out of the way, or for inspiration. If inspiration’s not there on the spot, it will never arrive in time; if the light’s cruddy, so be it. What matters is to catch a minute view of the ballet of things, the moment just before all the objects that surround us in our cities, towns, and villages once again pretend they’re nothing but matter.

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10 Responses to “Martin Bartholmy Just Walking”

  1. sedge808 January 16, 2015 at 12:43 am #

    nice photos.

  2. Pavel P. January 16, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Lovely ballet of things. And the light in selected photos is very lovely!

  3. johnmlamont January 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    Nice work, Martin.

  4. Eric Garsonnin January 16, 2015 at 7:44 pm #

    The strong shadows and concrete shapes dance around the old-style lamps in Martin2.

  5. T. Cariou January 16, 2015 at 11:16 pm #

    Beautiful walk.
    Your words could be mine.

  6. T.Cariou January 16, 2015 at 11:18 pm #

    Beautiful walk…
    Your words could be mine.

  7. T.Cariou January 19, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Superb walks!
    Could be my words…

  8. T.Cariou January 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Superb walks!
    Could be my words…

  9. xray spex (@userxyyyz) January 27, 2015 at 12:10 am #

    Martin, if we don’t move all day we can see these inanimate objects living their slow motion lives

  10. philwilkinson January 27, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Terrific post, Martin. I enjoyed your reading about your perspective.

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