Wednesday, April 01, 2009

EMPS: A Footprint Doesn't Look Like a Boot

Following up on for last night's entry for Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #31: Footprints:

Okay, I've searched my archives some more, and found those other occasions when I tried to photograph footprints. I was right: these attempts weren't all that successful. Nevertheless, let's take a look at some archived footprint photos.

On August 22, 2007, I shot this for a Round Robin topic called "Things with Wings." It was about a week after First Magnus folded, and I'd had a job interview that morning. Busy day! After taking photos at my church, I ended up at the Boneyard (otherwise known as the Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center, or AMARC), on this dirt path between Calle Escalante (I think) and the fenced off hulks of large planes.

There were lots of interesting tracks in the dirt, human and otherwise; but there were hard to identify and even harder to photograph.

Here's a closeup of a portion of one of the photos from that evening, desaturated to grayscale to help bring out the shapes. Still can't tell what all did the walking, running or hopping. When I was actually there, though, I saw at least one bunny, and suspected that at least one horse had been ridden on that path.

Again I've boosted the contrast here - I lightened the light tones and darkened the dark ones to try to make the tracks more visible. I like the effect on the shot, the way the path ahead mysteriously disappears into the gloom.

Another day, another (earlier) attempt. In July 2007, I was still working at First Magnus when the monsoon got active with a few major storms. I was no longer parking at St. Michael's and walking across the street via the Crosswalk of Death, because by then I was allowed in the main lot behind the office building. But sometimes the lot was so full I ended up back at church anyway. I'm not sure whether that was the case on this day, or whether I was simply photographing the flooding at church. This particular shot was an attempt to show something I had experienced a number of times when parking at church and then crossing the street. When it rained or had been raining, my feet sank into the soft clay near the sidewalk, leaving behind footprints like these. They looked more impressive in person, though.

The title of this entry comes from a Doctor Who eposode in which the Doctor warns that "A footprint doesn't look like a boot," meaning that things are not always what they seem on the surface. Trying to identify scuffs in the dirt or mud gives us a more literal application of the Doctor's maxim. A footprint in shifting dirt doesn't even always look like the bottom of a boot, let alone the whole boot. And a hoofprint doesn't look like a hoof, and a rabbit track doesn't look like a rabbit's foot. But it's fun to try to figure out what that funny indentations are.


1 comment:

Wammy said...

I thought the gray shot was where someone had walked on the moon. Looks like moon to me.