Multiple Perspective Photography
Walking along Saint Laurent Boulevard in the multi-cultural ‘Le Plateau’ area of Montreal, I was struck by the emotional and physical complexities of urban life compared to the seemingly simpler life and landscape of my rural home in BC. Vehicle traffic of every kind; cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, hybrid bicycles and scooters, and skateboards were passing me at various speeds from all directions. There was also the noise factor, and the disorienting fact that there was no horizon to be seen anywhere. Beyond that, 100’s of people speaking various languages, from all walks of life were weaving in and out around me amidst architectural beauty and mural artwork. All together, the scene was chaos, yet there was a natural rhythm to it; the scene was energizing, yet I often felt drained.
The narrative was complex. so with camera in-hand, I attempted to capture it in photographic imagery.
The goal of good composition is to capture the viewer’s attention, and contain that attention within the entire pictorial space for as long a period of time as possible. By joining the pedestrian in the above two images, we can likewise spend time exploring and experiencing the urban chaos. The triangular space of entry to join these two narratives of ‘experiencing’ city life is also critical to both compositions.
Making an image from several perspectives deconstructs physical realities and reassembles them as new realities.
One of the things that Rita and I have enjoyed about Montreal is the proximity of learning institutions to the downtown core, and the resulting exchange of energy. McGill University, for example, extends from the slopes of Mount Royal to downtown Sherbrooke Street. This photograph captures this avenue of human exchange, as students travel from metro stations and city skyscrapers to the beautifully treed campus of McGill.
For me, this ‘multiple perspective’ photograph portrays the vibrant exchange of energy in the modern-day city of Montreal. I love this multi-cultural city and I have truly enjoyed my month-long photographic residency here. Merci pour l’expérience.
In conclusion, I find that experiencing the pictorial space of a photograph is much more powerful than merely glancing at it. ‘Multiple Perspective’ photographs are designed to invite and encourage viewers to participate in the creators experience of making the image, as well as to enjoy their own experiential narrative. I hope these photographs encourage questions, not only about the new physical reality of the image, but also about the artist.