Wednesday, February 29, 2012

À une locomotive en hiver

Il y a tellement de photos de trains. Il semble y avoir quelque chose que les photographes ne peuvent pas résister. Mais dans ce genre spécifique, il y a beaucoup de variété - parce que le style de chaque photographe apporte quelque chose de nouveau. Brassaï, par exemple a pris des photos de la gare du Palais-Royal la nuit tandis Erwitt était plus axé sur les émotions des gens qui disaient au revoir à leurs proches. Autrefois, les trains étaient un symbole de la modernité et souvent, les images de trains étaient comme une célébration de la pouvoir de l'homme – l’innovation et le progrès. Mais qu'en sont-ils maintenant? Qu'est-ce que le rôle d'un train dans la société de voitures et les avions?

THEE for my recitative!
Thee in the driving storm, even as now—the snow—the winter-day declining;
Thee in thy panoply, thy measured dual throbbing, and thy beat convulsive;
Thy black cylindric body, golden brass, and silvery steel;

Thy ponderous side-bars, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, shuttling at thy sides;
  Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar—now tapering in the distance;
Thy great protruding head-light, fix’d in front;

Thy long, pale, floating vapor-pennants, tinged with delicate purple;
   The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack;
   Thy knitted frame—thy springs and valves—the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels;

Thy train of cars behind, obedient, merrily-following,
Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering:
Type of the modern! emblem of motion and power! pulse of the continent!

  For once, come serve the Muse, and merge in verse, even as here I see thee,
With storm, and buffeting gusts of wind, and falling snow;
By day, thy warning, ringing bell to sound its notes,
By night, thy silent signal lamps to swing.

Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through my chant, with all thy lawless music! thy swinging lamps at night;
Thy piercing, madly-whistled laughter! thy echoes, rumbling like an earthquake, rousing all!
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding;
(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)
Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills return’d,
Launch’d o’er the prairies wide—across the lakes,
To the free skies, unpent, and glad, and strong.

-- Walt Whitman


  1. I like the perspective of this essay. Trains definitely seem to have past their so-called glory days in our generation of cars and planes. I especially like the inclusion of the children (the next generation) playing on these old locomotives. It makes for an interesting commentary and juxtaposition between young and old, past and present. The second photo is probably my favorite because the lighting, color composition and perspective are compelling. I also like the idea of the last photo, but it seems a little overexposed, and could use some more contrast (darker darks and lighter lights in terms of color). Nice use of text as well!

  2. I really enjoy the different perspectives and different amounts of close-ups that are used, some photos like the first are really close on an object and others tell a bigger story. I like that flow and change of perspective throughout. My favorite photo in her is the one with the glove, but not for the glove. What captures my attention is the lines that start to come together as they go off into the distance in between the train cars. To me that's where my eye goes and it leaves me questioning what is beyond the train yard. Overall I liked the photos and appreciated the colors, they weren't dull and they weren't vibrant, but strong and soft; a very real tone to them. On a personal note the photo of the crane reminded me of a crane in Saint Louis, Senegal on le Fleuve du Senegal :)