Personal Cinema; Cosmopolitan


Personal Cinema is a way for me to look back on my images and tell the story behind some of the ones that have moved me and that have some insight to offer into how it came to be. These images really have become my personal cinema, frames from my life living here in Poland, stories that move me. I hope you enjoy this series. ~ EW

I have explained in a previous post my love for shadows and how they compel me to look deeper. In a simple scene like this, its easy for me to be easily swayed away from crossing the street in order to chase these shadows and catch a piece of my past. A scene that we see and forget all in the same moment, but somehow they challenge me catch it, capture it and add it to my ever developing cinema.

These scenes make me look back and appreciate where they may have stemmed from in my imagination. Remembering the authors of similar storied scenes and how they impressed me through my life until now, when I can pull them from memory and make it real. A compulsion of sorts and one I am compelled to pursue, driven by a healthy imagination and steady diet of film, photography, books, art and comics. I really should thank my Dad here for taking my brother and I to just about every film ever made that was showing at the local cinema in the 80’s and giving my imagination the spark it needed. Thanks Dad! And thank you Mom for the endless Friday night VHS rentals that you unknowingly helped me tdeveloppe a taste for Euro cinema and movies I never would have found otherwise. Thanks Mom!

Films like Fritz Langs “M”,and”Metropolis“, OsonWells “Citizen Kane” and “1984” both the 1956 version and the 1984 version that is known so well, inspired in me a taste for the feel of stark shadows that could be menacing and or completely innocuous, often leaning towards a dystopian feel with a pinch of desperation. There are many films that I loved that helped to impress upon me some of these qualities (Blade Runner).  And comics too. I seldom give credit there, but the heavy-handed style of Jack Kirby really captured my imagination and inspired in me a desire to draw the same and collect these comics for years to come, spending every afternoon absorbing the fantastic tales that filled those pages.

Winter and late autumn are when I really start to look for images like this while I am out wandering. When the sun is low and dimming by 4pm and the rush to get somewhere, anywhere is evident in every passing person trying to stay warm. I like the sense of pedestrian and of hurry and cold, with the light casting the long shadows that drive home the substance of urgency. It doesn’t matter where I need to be, I will always stop and shoot a few frames, motivated by a deeper need.

In a frame like this, I could look at it for days and not really entirely understand what and how it affects me or what truly motivated me to capture it, but I know where it stems from and how in a passing second the imagination of a boy begins to churn again and the pages of comics and frames of films filling my head, hungry for more.

Do you ever consider the things that drive you and why? Photography has given me the ability to pursue these moments that I feel warrant a revisit, whether or not they are appreciated or loved by others. Almost like the films I would watch over and over again, I collect these frames that impact me and add something to the story of my life. Perhaps it doesn’t make sense, but if this were a graphic novel, laid out to read, it would. Its only recently, going back though many of these images, that I discover where they often stem from and how in the beginning, I was developing different styles in photography, until now where I am fairly confident in what impacts me and how to capture it. Eventually moving past it to start on another subject of interest.

In my heart, I am a painter and these frames are how I paint my world, sketching little pieces of it until I am satisfied with the outcome. And for me, this simple frame, easily forgotten in the moment of passing is how I might show you that world and connect you to it.

Easily forgotten moments are the hardest to catch I think. They are quick to come and go and they tug at your memories, probably making you hesitate and disappearing before they even really arrived. They have to cling to you like glue, haunt you a bit, make you wish you had stopped and eventually catch up with you to teach you a lesson. Over the years I have learned how to look for them, often shooting far too much but on occasion I get one that makes me smile. Like this one.

We all have something like this that we do. This is mine. Eventually, I will put the pieces together to make some more sense and connect in a more meaningful way. But for now, this image often sums up how I see the urban landscape in these colder months. Full of life, slightly desperate but moving. Always moving.

That’s the cinema for today! This is actually one of my favorite images and each time I look at it, something resonates deep in me. Perhaps it does it for you too…or not, either way I hope that you enjoyed the ride and look back on the frame. I am always interested in your thoughts, so post them in the comments and I will see them.

I am also pleased to announce that you can get your very own copy of this image from my newly opened store in partnership with Get Inspired Magazine here. I will be offering more soon and including some of my favorite and compelling images, so check back often. Below I am posting for you the actual one that is with a border, available in the shop and also the color version which gives it another feel altogether.