Polka Dot Perspective

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Overhead Street View, Geneva, Switzerland

Whenever I need to get some perspective I request an upper floor room with a balcony.

Actually, whenever I travel I add that request to my online booking. During the day I walk or drive to the settings I want to photograph, whether they are beautiful mountain vistas or ancient urban settings. But having a balcony overlooking an interesting street scene adds an extra dimension to the photographs that I can make.

Composition, lighting, and perspective are controlling variables in photography. When I photograph in my home area I sometimes take a ladder or step stool to gain a different perspective. But it is hard to get a ladder on a plane.

When I can get a hotel room with a balcony I also have more opportunities for photography. This is especially true on travel days when I just have a little time before departing and on arrival days when I can photograph night street scenes.

But it is mainly the perspective that interests me. Usually the photographs are candid and anonymous. People in the images are compressed into interesting and artistic forms and colors. And we all find the human form interesting. In my opinion the anonymity protects privacy and avoids voyeurism.

Overhead street photography has been popular at times. And I can see why. It is becoming a fascination for me. I am working on a proposal for an exhibition of these overhead photographs. They will be selected from balcony views from Paris, Geneva, Budapest, Spain, rural France, and other places along the way.

This photograph is from Geneva, Switzerland. Traffic backed up at a busy intersection near the train station and provided a steady flow of interesting images. This is a good perspective from which to view that striking polka dot helmet.

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