Both Sides of Leisure

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Early Cleaning, Arriving at Ensenada, Mexico

Early Cleaning, Arriving at Ensenada, Mexico

This photograph depicts both sides of leisure.

While almost all of the passengers slept, this woman (lower right) and many other crew members, were busy cleaning, cooking, and preparing for another day of leisure – for other people. To me, this image is a metaphor.

On one side of the glass, the deck is clean and ‘ship-shape’, ready for very early morning strolling. On the other side of the glass, behind the scenes in a way, a woman works hard to clean the glass. When passengers arrive for breakfast the view will be clear without anyone knowing how much work it takes every day to accomplish.

I had been taking photographs for an hour or so as the morning brightened. I had walked all over the ship and explored the vantage points on all the decks. With this photograph I was trying for a wide angle view of the deck with its life saving stations and the open sea with Ensenada on the horizon. I hoped to show the wood grain in the foreground decking and still see details at the far end of the deck and  the open sea.

As I was composing the photograph, looking through the viewfinder, I noticed movement with my other eye. Looking down this row of windows I could only see reflections of the outside deck, except for the windows right next to me. I could see through these closer windows into a dining room. As this woman worked her way toward me on the other side of the glass, she became partially visible. So I waited for her to get to the window next to me so she was clearly visible. Even then, only her face, arms, and the white cleaning cloth can be seen. Her dark uniform fades into the background. She appears to be floating.

Her presence was a surprise. Sometimes luck helps bring additional features into a photograph.

The reflections of the life saving stations and the ship structure are interesting. And on a large print of this photograph you can see through the doorway behind her out onto the pool deck on the interior of the ship.  Photo: 1/15 s at f/2.8

You can visit my online galleries to view more of my portfolio. Click the Photography link above.

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