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Chains Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

4 September 2018

Something about this photo has attracted us since we took it in 2012. We like looking at it so much that we haven't given much thought to just what it is about it that attracts us.

Chains. Olympus E-PL1 capture at f5.6, 1/125 second andISO 200 using a 36mm focal length.

We shot it the same day we shot our favorite photo of the Golden Gate bridge, which we featured in The Split-Toning Solution in 2015. We did a couple of posters celebrating the bridge's 75th anniversary on May 12 of that year. And this image was used in the poster that featured a triptych of images.

They were all black-and-white JPEG images, which led to the split-toned one. And they were square.

Of course when you put the Golden Gate Bridge in a photo, the photo is of the Golden Gate Bridge. You can't make it into anything else. It's all anyone sees.

But this image has had a life of its own since the moment we snapped the shutter.

The black-and-white treatment de-emphasizes the bay and the sky. There isn't much land to worry about and even that is way out of focus.

But monochrome doesn't hurt the iron chain in the least little bit. In fact, it helps it. It's all about the contrast in the rust of those chains, peeling apart before our very eyes.

Detail. Not full resolution but you get the idea.

We tried turning it into a duotone but even that hint of color distracted from the decay. So we left it in black-and-white.

The detail shot above gives you a bit more sense of how sharp the image of the chain is, in contrast to the rest of the image. Our 500-pixel thumbnail is a pleasing composition but hides some of the detail.

What's a chain doing there by the bay? Protecting people walking along the sea wall from getting too close to the edge. They may not realize the bay smashes up against the wall and onto the roadway until it's too late to get safely out of the way.

Benevolent chains, perhaps, but chains all the same. Too heavy to move, they hang in the salt air slowly disintegrating but still doing their job.

And we can't help staring at them. Perhaps because they are a metaphor for any of us who, unmoved from our post, are slowly disintegrating but still here.

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