<<< o >>>the state of the union 25 comments + add yours

The last time I posted a similar shot to this one it got a mixed reaction, and I suspect this one will elicit much the same response: it's quite flat, there's no specific subject, and no apparent meaning. Two things drew me to it though. First: I like the history implied in such scenes: the various layers of what was once meaningful material, pealed away to reveal a disjointed collage of unrelated moments in time. Second, and this is a more personal thing: for as long as I can remember I've felt ambivalent about the union flag and the various echoes of colonialism and nationalism with which it's often associated with; neither of which I have much time for.

On a totally unrelated matter, londonrubbish.com is one year old today, so go wish Mark a happy birthday :-)

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
5.05pm on 3/6/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
30mm (48mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
minor rotation
3x2 + abstract + urban
comment by mooch at 07:07 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

Reminds me of a punk rock albume cover. Good texture.

comment by m at 07:09 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

Come on now, shouldn't we me a bit more positive in this world cup month ;-)

comment by Klaas at 07:14 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

You can always support Trinidad and Tobago as my 6-week old half-Scottish son will...

comment by Adrian Hudson at 07:19 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

Forget the history of the Union Flag if you feel like that about it. Try living in the present.

comment by djn1 at 07:25 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

m: I can either alienate 95% of the world's population, or I can keep quiet about football ;-)

Adrian: this isn't the place for a political debate, but I'm not sure that forgetting history is an especially good idea nor that remembering it is incompatible with living in the present.

comment by eric at 07:30 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

i like... reminds me somewhat of what john washington has been doing with text in portraits (in some weird way), nonetheless, i like the history implicated with it, regardless of politics and what not.

comment by emma at 07:39 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

i think the technique works well here - agree with tobias, it would make a great punk rock album cover! (come on england she whispers) ;-)

comment by Robert at 07:40 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

I like the strong, gritty graphic design-feel. Mooch hits it on the head: punk rock cover all the way.

comment by shooter at 07:58 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

It could be a metaphor for any number of things, for me it's just an ok image, it does'nt have enough within it to lift it from the mundane, a nice idea though..

comment by djn1 at 08:09 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

shooter: I'm not sure I can explain this but part of the appeal of scenes such as this, for me at least, is that they are mundane. If the colours were brighter, or if there was an overt message, then it would probably be more immediately attention grabbing. And that would be ok, but it's not what I was after with this one.

comment by Karl Baumann at 09:29 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

I´m asking me, what´s the newest level of this? I like this kind of photos. :-)

comment by frisky? at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

yep. punk rock it is! sweet!

comment by Paul at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 4 June, 2006

It's interesting that this has generated so few comments! I can take or leave the flag so it doesn't hold much for me that way, however I really like the idea of history and what has gone before that this shot creates for me. I imagine all the people that have walked by and seen what was posted on the board on a particular day and that different people walked past the same board days, weeks, months or years later and saw something completely different...and that may be all that had changed in the area over that time.

comment by JD at 02:35 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

I know people always go on about reflecting the past of the objects and stuff but to me this isn't enough to warrant a picture, otherwise we'd all shoot tarmac and ponder over the feet that have carressed it on their journeys.

while I enjoy certain things in this shot, such as the colours and texture (which I think is lacking a bit of sharpness), I kinda wish you'd have capture it showing more of its environment (not like I know this would have worked or owt tho??)

Sorry if this comes across a little harsh...

comment by Mark at 05:15 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

David, this is the first time I can say that I don't care for the image. I will look again in a few days to see if it has grown on me. It lacks your customary crispness . Sorry....

comment by peter at 06:35 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

I just like the worn and tattered feel to this one. There's actually a lot of information hidden, but it is all fragmented which gives you the opportunity to make up your own story. A nice departure from your normal style.

comment by Adrian Park at 08:09 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

The designer in me lives for flat planes of bright colour and texture so this is exactly the thing I find myself pointing my camera at whilst everyone else wonders exactly what I'm photographing!

This is great.

comment by Hennie at 11:51 AM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it - but for me, this photo is about the collapse of the Empire - and is a great reminder of how the world moves on.... I like it.

comment by Napfisk at 12:14 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

Hey, to me this is just a cool picture showing attention to detail and a keen sense for framing. It does make you wonder what's behind it (figuratively) and what't surrounding it (literally), but that's just what's fascinating about it. Perhaps the title is what made people think about it more than they should.

comment by Bob at 01:23 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

I like the image, particularly the muted colors. I see your point, and I'll let the politics of it to others. The main question this poses for me is much more mundane.
I'm not understanding the possibility of the two apparent wood grains on the left side.
I can picture how a billboard loaded with grit and weathering can pick up and show the underlying grain of the wood as seems to be the case in point. And I'm thinking the bottom-most poster shows underlying angular boards, with a joint between.
But the next layer (of paper) seems to indicate vertical boards underneath, again, with a joint separating two boards, this time held by rusty nails.
But that layer is only paper, right? Illusion? Political conspiracy? Inquiring minds want to know.

comment by djn1 at 05:01 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

Thanks all. As I mentioned, I did expect a mixed reaction to this one, but it's good to hear that some of you liked it.

comment by Sysagent at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 5 June, 2006

Reminds me of the Pistols.
Which is a good thing....

comment by nogger at 08:41 PM (GMT) on 9 June, 2006

Ah, that guilt thing about the flag. Why? In the words of Bart Simpson, "I didn't do it!". And it's not as if we're the only country to have done bad things. Doesn't stop them waving theirs.

Which may or may not be a comment on the photo.

comment by Hector at 09:44 PM (GMT) on 9 June, 2006

Time to delurk, I've been enjoying your site for some time. I think that there's a time for everything, but perversely, it was not the right time for this picture. You've missed the mood with aq great shot.

comment by Hector at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 9 June, 2006

...and my typing is rubbish. Sorry. Still a fan.