I like the composition of this Sykes.  Here’s a band of natural parts layered like lasagna high from another Horace Golden Tree at the bottom.   The massing is democratic with the four banded and imbricating parts taking nearly equal shares of the composition.   This is merely descriptive, and not meant to offend either royalists or tyrants.  The parts could be unbalanced in another composition to effects and pleasures of their own.  I am reminded of Prof. Yates and a college class in aesthetics.  Yates was very angular, a thin man and tall enough to regularly bump his head into a lamp hanging from the ceiling of his classroom near a window he liked to open wide for deep breathing.  He was made in central casting for the part of absent minded professor and wore his tweed well.  For the course he chose a prescriptive history in a thin volume that after considering a variety of historical approaches to “art and beauty” came to its own conclusion, that both had to do with “perceptual relations,” the play between the parts of what we perceive.  It was not a very emotive approach, this “perceptual relations.”  Or I might have also titled this composition “sturm und drang,” which is, many readers will know, a romantic period in German cultural history that I learned first down the hall from Yates room in Dr.Simpson’s class in world literature.  Really it was a class in Western – not World – literature.  (Click Twice to Enlarge)

4 thoughts on “Our Daily Sykes #377 – PERCEPTUAL RELATIONS”

  1. I like this one passing well. I see the Kleistian storm and stress in it. It is arresting to reflect that Fra Horatio is not able to crop his images and thereby present a better composition than what he first grabbed. I’m constantly chopping out extra heads and the tops of signposts and parking meters or the pedestals of streetlamps to reduce edge clutter. But these slides reveal the photographer naked in his moment of viewing — unless you’re shilling for the old boy?

  2. Matt,
    The Sykes slides, when studied close, have rough edges where accumulated dust or perhaps marks from processing sometimes stick out like black hairs or clumps even. These I can either sample away with copy-stamping of whatever is nearest or I can slice away the offending edge with the offenders. This slicing is ordinarily very lean or thin, and hardly noticed. Otherwise I rarely – hardly ever – crop Sykes. Except. Except when his subject is far off level. These transgressions of gravity I take to be the consequence of working with a pre-single-lens-reflex camera. I remember that struggle to stay faithful to the horizon line using a Leica on my trip through Europe in 1955.

  3. Paul,
    I have noticed that the Sykeses lack the cilia-like dust phenomena that usually line the edges of scanned slides. I don’t feel cheated in any way. They’re the very devil to get rid of. I’ve done a fair bit of “copy-stamping” as you call it on my own slides. And staying on the level…well, that’s a quest that daunts the stoutest of us.

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