Monday, August 1, 2011

Misty hills of Big Sur

Misty hills in Big Sur
Mists in Big Sur

This picture was taken at Big Sur during my vacation trip there with my wife and my in-laws. The picture conveys a mysterious mood, a tranquil scene that hides more than it shows — in a way similar to the enticement of a good belly dance or strip show. The very things we do not see invite is into the picture, draws our attention in, and to the clues that we are given. It wouldn't seem, not to me at least, however, to be a particularly open-ended picture. The mystique and tranquility are reasonably obvious readings of rolling mist-covered hills such as these — it is not necessarily a picture that brings a viewer something new every time they revisit it as much as it is a sure-fire way of retrieving these calm, tranquil feelings it evokes. As for how the tranquility comes about, my feeling is that it is connected to several aspects of the image. First of all, there is not much movement in the picture itself. The picture depicts a pair of hills, not about to move any time soon. But then the hills themselves are shrouded in the mists, are almost hidden away themselves in a soft, rolling gradient of blue tones. All in all, there is very little conflict in the picture — slowly rolling gradients of blue that end in pleasant countryside silhouettes, and what slopes there are, are gentle and tapering off. Nothing that sends the eye off with any speed, and nothing in the picture itself that moves particularly much.

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