My photo treasures: Scott Cahill Rude


Most people travel in order to visit, experience or photograph new and foreign places - I do too. However, during our recent holiday I not only discovered photography subjects, but also a new photographer (which is not very difficult - I do not know a great many). While wandering through Pike Place Market in Seattle, my wife discovered a sign directing us to booth 316 entitled "REFLECTING ON SEATTLE - Urban photography." I have very much appreciated the photographs in this little shop straightaway and even the children have enjoyed our short visit.

REFLECTING ON SEATTLE is a wonderful little shop filled with small and large Seattle photographs by Scott Cahill Rude (he is also on facebook if you are interested). You should not expect the usual touristy kinds of picture postcard photographs, but rather unexpected, creative and inspirational views of Seattle details. As the name of Scott Cahill Rude's shop indicates, many of the photographs are reflections - again not the usual kind but rather hidden reflections that were discovered in puddles or other wet surfaces (apparently it rains a lot in Seattle, even though it was mostly bright and sunny while we were visiting).

Scott Cahill Rude emphasizes that he does not need a big and expensive camera and most definitely does not resort to photoshop to generate the sometimes unexpected effects (and of course no other digital manipulation neither). He only applies one little trick: He displays many compositions upside down. You will be amazed how rotating a photograph by 180° can change everything! If you move the mouse over the image you may be able to see a version that is rotated by 180° (if the html code works as intended in your browser). Which one is the "correct" one? Which one do you think looks more interesting? As Scott Cahill Rude puts it: "Life is all about perspective!"

The more I photograph myself and look at photographs, the more I appreciate photographers who pursue a limited number of themes over an extended period of time. REFLECTING ON SEATTLE is a fantastic, creative, themed project and I am glad that it seems to work out and is displayed in its own little shop in the real world (as opposed to "only" electronically). Most of all, I also find the self-limitation - both equipment-wise and location-wise - highly commendable. As I have tried to argue myself, I think that nearby photo subjects are in many ways the most rewarding and pursuing the discovery of beauty in our everyday environment can be a source of happiness. Scott Cahill Rude argues similarly (and more eloquently than me) and also sees simplicity and a positive perspective as keys to happiness.

2013/09/06 by Florian Freimoser
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