Photographically speaking, it is an opportunity for playful experimentation with the digital parameters of viewing: monochromatically, by using the classic sepia toning and compositionally, by using the fish-eye effect.

Sepia toning

The classic sepia, or “sanguine” in French, brings up the warmth that black and white photography lacks somehow, while retaining the structuring modulation of light and shadow.

The image below puts these characteristics to good use, showing the balcony as protected zone from direct sunlight, leaving it to the bright street to separate the near balcony from the far tree grouping.

Of course, the door frame, handrails, utility post and stretched utility line subreptitiously provide a cross shaped counterpoint to the larger contrasting light value zones.

sepia toning
sepia toning view of balconies


A fish-eye lens usually provides an extra wide-angle view on the subject with a moderate spherical deformation. Combined with the zoom capacity of most digital cameras, the fish-eye effect provided by these cameras allows for tunnel like spherical deformation with zoom detailed center.

The image of a neighboring balcony illustrates the optical principle that “the eye that I see is the same that sees me,” be it mediated by a mirror or by zoom fish eye lens effect i.e. I could well imagine a person standing behind the dark window taking a photo of me taking his/her photo!

balcony through foliage
balcony through foliage

The image of the man walking his dog does not so much emphasize his girth as it does the strong tie of the leash between them.

I would like to see this tie as symbolic of the affective relation between a human and an animal rather than of the controlling role of the leash.

Man and his dog
Man walking his dog

The image of the I-phoning mother and  her “seeing-eye” daughter, getting ready to bypass the garbage collecting container blocking the sidewalk, is to me a symbol of the current distance, if not conflict, between social relationships in real space and their virtual counter parts on the internet wavelengths.

Mom and daughter
Texting mom and guiding daughter

End words

As the summer progresses and other photographic points of views and subjects become available, I intend to continue recording images using sepia toning and fish-eying and interpreting them as constructively as possible in terms of their respective visual qualities and meaning.


Credit all photographs to Maurice Amiel

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