Urban Grit: Beautiful or Depressing?

Leave it to an Indian Dutch woman to give us such a great example of how you can take the same scene and turn it into a thing of beauty or a thing of despair.

In the above photo, saskiamarisha takes what is otherwise just a couch in an abandoned lot, and lets its beauty shine through. The soft focus, warm and unusual lighting, and the inclusion of the leaves at the top make it seem like the couch is a pink ballerina dancing amongst a bunch of dirty criminals. The couch is almost inviting you to came take a load off, and you’re close to accepting, if only you’d had a recent tetanus shot.

Conversely, the photo below is downright sinister. That sweet ballerina has turned into a dark, evil mob boss and he’s saying, “You lookin’ at me?” Her use of black and white here, as well as the angle it was shot from and the dark lighting create quite a different mood. Suddenly that couch that once looked so inviting is making you think twice about trusting any more couches.

So it’s up to you. When you see a photographic opportunity, not only do you need to think about composition, shutter speed, f-stop, but also how you want to portray your subject. Is it a pink ballerina or a dirty mob boss? That’s for only you to decide.

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