Sunlight, Doorways, and a Naked Girl with a Very Large Foot

People sometimes ask about my interest in photography – what triggered the initial desire to wake before dawn and peddle the streets, looking for that next shot.  For me, it’s likely a terrible thing to admit but this didn’t happen immediately. 

My dad had a love of gadgets and technology.  Something he wanted to pass down was his love for cameras – I though was focused on other things like motorcycles and SU carburetors… tearing them apart, rebuilding them and hanging out at the track.

For Christmas one year he gave me a point and shoot camera.  I liked it because it fit nicely into an Altoid tin and was easy to carry.  

Back then, I worked as a contract engineer and often travelled for work.  Each time I relocated to a new place, I would take this camera with me and use it as a means of not getting lost. 

My ritual was to wake early and go on long walks, taking photos of the street signs and bus station maps.  I would then use the photos to piece together where I’d been and retrace my steps. 

I never thought about taking photos for any other reason.  I was quite happy to wander around, capturing maps and street signs as I went – that is until I came across a small bronze statue of a naked girl with a very large foot.

She was in the basement window below an art gallery in the old town section of Montreal.  The street was cobblestoned and it was early morning, with sunlight streaming down just low enough to hit the glass panes of the door across the way.

What I saw, from where I stood, was this giant reflection of her foot which left me wondering what would happen if I took a photo of this girl via a series of reflections – into the window adjacent to her, across to the door on the other side of the street, back to where she actually was sitting on the shelf in this basement window.

The result is below… she captured my attention and has yet to let go. 

What I find fascinating is the idea that there is an entirely different world right where we’re standing.  In mine, it’s this one of a naked girl filled with reckless abandon, flying down a cobblestone street, completely oblivious of the road signs.

The Flying Girl – Montreal, Canada

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