The Hold Up
La Mesa, CA
Preface: Years ago, the 40s perhaps, Charlie Chaplin secretly entered a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. He placed 20th.
So, why take this photograph. Last summer I submitted it to an off-the-wall contest and forgot about it until yesterday. I checked their website and my submission wasn't given so much as a nod. Not everybody gets a juice box. Yet, I really like it. Perhaps I like it in ways too different from the guardians of Internet photo contests. You never know who these guardians are, do you? And, no one would ever buy it so it won't find its way upon a wall (except perhaps some automotive geek who appreciates jack-stands). So, what good is it? Of course, it needs no monetary value to be appreciated, least of all by its creator.
It has an oddness about it that I appreciate. I can guarantee that you'll never see it duplicated, anywhere. It's not Delicate Arch or Half Dome which will be photographed for eons to come. This scene is gone, history, no more. Go ahead, try searching for nighttime car on jack-stands and see what it gets you. That, for me, gives it some equivalent to value.
What it has for me is light and shadow, the subject is somewhat irrelevant, though interesting in its uniqueness. The light brings texture to the canopy, the shadow gives it a sense of the clandestine, something stealthy, secretive.
I'm finding more and more that I gravitate to these types of scenes. They may not "Pop" or evoke oohs and ahhs but they have merit. They fit more comfortably in photo books than on walls and seem happiest when surrounded by their like brethren on fine paper in a well executed book of prints.