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NOLA Snapshot: Looking down

Looking at things from every angle is absolutely vital to getting creative shots that I often forget about while my camera’s clicking. This idea stewed in my mind and percolated for a while, eventually taking root on a recent walk with my dog.

It was one of the first rainy, windy days of New Orleans’ winter/spring hybrid. I was feeling cold, grumpy, and a little resentful of my dog’s need for exercise when I suddenly noticed this on the ground:

(Photo by: Hanna Rasanen)

A piece of piping in the concrete had filled up with rainwater. I was intrigued; it looked a little like a bottomless chasm to Wonderland. All I had with me was my phone’s camera, but that was more than enough for a decent picture. I noticed that I could see a bit of the power lines’ reflection in the water. Could I get it clearer?

(Photo by: Hanna Rasanen)

(Photo by: Hanna Rasanen)

As it turns out, yes. And, because the focus was on the post instead of the concrete, the white circle of piping became even more abstract. However, I didn’t like the head-on perspective of the pipe, and I wanted to get more of the trees into the shot. I played around with the camera angle as well as the effect of the wind on the water’s surface and came up with a lot of different shots I liked, but this one turned out to be my favorite:

Photo by: Hanna Rasanen

(Photo by: Hanna Rasanen)

And though I wouldn’t have been able to get this chilly little portrait of New Orleans if I hadn’t literally been “looking down”, the concept is much broader than that; “looking down” involves trying to see everything in a new way, looking for the whispered details, knowing that the world is hiding little secrets in its pipes and shadows, waiting for you to find them.

And, for once, I can’t wait to give my dog another walk.


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