Saturday, September 10, 2005

Longitude

Longitude 2
probably better viewed large

I've passed by this shopping centre many times without really paying attention to this line embedded in the ground, but what with the recent round of geocaching, something clicked today, and I decided to shoot this composite of it.

On my first "pass", I fastidiously made sure my feet didn't show in the photographs, which meant a lot of awkward leaning as I moved over it like a human scanner. The irony of it was that a few minutes after I shot the whole sequence, I realised that the completed image was going to lack a sense of scale, so I went back and deliberately shot one photo, in the centre of the line, with my feet in it. Which explains the difference in lighting for that one patch in the centre (which I was okay with, since it would give the eye something to fixate on in the image). For comparison, here's what it would've looked like without me putting my feet in it. Both these shots are probably better viewed in large size, but there's no way they would've fit on the webpage that way.

Longitude 1

A slightly different perspective on the longitude marker, giving a better idea of its context on the ground.

longitude 3

I find this line strangely comforting: it makes no sense, but it's as if you knew where you were, and where everything else was in relation to you, just because of that information written on the ground. I feel the same way about compass roses, sundials, distance markers, and almost anything made from brass, embedded in concrete, and with a number telling you Where You Are. This extends to Things That Help You Find Out Where You Are: maps, compasses, and now GPS receivers. If I ever had the money and the space, I'd probably have a room dedicated to displaying all the National Geographic maps I've collected - which I know is not likely to happen, but one can dream. There's something about maps that fascinate me - but I'll leave that for another post.

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