I revisited one of the places I like to photograph and came back with, among others, the image shown above. No, it was not the scene of junkyard treasure, and this is not the side of a beat-up old car. It’s actually from my ghost town site, and it’s the side of a beat-up old outhouse. I guess I took it because I tend to like abstracts like this. Though that’s probably not the whole story, because this is the only abstract I made in hours of photographing in a place loaded with weathered wood, ancient mining equipment, etc. Perhaps I was drawn to it through mysterious workings of my unconscious. If so, I discovered why the next day — but maybe you can guess it now?

When I fired up my computer and started processing this one, after a few steps I started playing with orientation. The first new one I tried worked for me:


If you don’t see why, look at the vase picture from Karl’s post yesterday.

This is not the first time this has happened to me. In fact, one of the very few (two) other shots I have in the popular “rusted metal” genre is this one:


which in its native orientation was a fender like this:


I can only speculate that my fusiform gyrus works overtime, straining to recognize faces even where the rest of my brain knows there’s no face. Does some subliminal firing tells me to make a picture, even as my conscious brain invents another reason? At any rate, it’s beginning to look like a pattern.

How far might that pattern reach? I’m wondering if there is some connection to the semi-abstract waterfall image seen here before. With dark flanking bright, it’s the inverse of the image I started this post with. But no, here I cannot make out any kind of face, no matter how I rotate it. Still, there’s something about those shapes, which I can’t call anthropomorphic, but… Anyway, I know it’s not just me — this was my first sale at the gallery I’m now working with.


I believe that subliminal activity in our minds has a lot to do with what we find ourselves attracted to, visually and otherwise. I suspect the changing nature of that unconscious background has a lot to do with Karl’s post. Some things do become clear with time, but I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why I like that Yellowstone waterfall.