Dark and deep--that's what I thought of when I saw Renderosity member anahata.c's image "Deep Night." When you view this photo, you feel as if you're standing right next to him on the street. But, before I started make assumptions about what I thought the meaning behind it was, I reached out and asked for further explanation.
Please tell me the backstory behind the photo.
I'm not sure I have a backstory behind most of my photos. Some photographers do, but some just shoot by 'feel.' They make a spontaneous connection and---snap--they shoot. And, of many shots, maybe one will stand out. I went with my instincts: I saw night lights, I saw the deep shadows, I shot. Then I worked the best into final images, at home. In the 'digital darkroom' (i.e., Photoshop). But on the street? I was "on call," and the lights, hues and shadows were the callers...
What inspired you to take it?
The immediate pull was those deep shadows and lights. And how light emerges out of darkness. Or how it creates mystery and dance. Some poets will say they write poetry because they have something to say. But, in some ways, it's not about having something to say, it's about being in love with saying...Because we all have something to say, but the person who's called by the music of words, the dance and symphony of words---he or she will turn that into poems. I was inspired by the music in this scene.
What does the photo symbolize?
Honestly, I'm not sure. Not dissing your question, just speaking for myself. Some artists feel symbols, but I mostly don't. I began, in visual art, with painting and drawing; and their call, for me, was in the deep language of forms and colors and "presences" in the work. In a portrait, you're looking for the music of a person's hues, the music of their contours and shapes; but above all, the music that comes from inside them. A late Rembrandt portrait has a whole ocean of hues and brushstrokes in a single cheek; and a Georgia O'Keeffe flower painting finds whole galaxies of energy and power within a single petal. I'm not comparing myself to them by any means! I'm just saying that I'm drawn to the inner music more than to symbols. But, mind you, there are artists here who work with symbols magnificently! I don't think I feel them nearly as often in my work...
What is the meaning behind the photo?
Not sure if there's meaning, but I think you're asking for our inner feelings about a work. Well, I post worked this liberally to bring out the mystery of the branches, the shadows, the gentle intrusions of cars and lights on a night street...I guess if there were a meaning, it would be "mystery." And by the way, like many photographers, I do photos with little postwork, and others with more postwork. Each image has its own needs. I post worked this to bring out the mystery of branches at night, the strangeness of those harsh lights, and the way shadows turn the familiar into chasms.
Why did you decide to take it?
Well, I was walking, I saw this street, and it "called" me. I wasn't sure I'd get a good shot--even masters aren't sure of that, when they shoot on the street. I just had to shoot. And also most photographers are aware of an "audience" out there, when they shoot: They want to give their vision to others. Art is an act of love. But a lot of shots are guided by the inner eye as much as an envisioned audience: The inner eye is in charge as much as our will. That's what guided me on the street---ie, the inner eye, voice, etc, guides no matter what.
I'll end with this: Being an artist is as much a matter of listening to our insides as 'telling them what to do'. You know how actors always say "listening is as important as acting"? Same thing in all the arts. We listen to our eye. It tells us what to do...and if we listen deeply, we may produce an image that touches others.