Ghosts

A while ago I posted this image of the Shambles in York. It turns a simple street in the city of York into a twisted form with an unsettling atmosphere, only accentuated by the not-quite-human shape in the bottom-right of the frame.

Yesterday I found myself in town with my camera and tripod, and I wanted to try and repeat this theme with other streets in York. York is supposedly the most haunted city in England, and so I think it’s fitting to name this series ‘Ghosts’. The subjects of these images are not human. They once were, but the half-second exposures have turned them into nothing but shapes.

Minster Yard (Tumblr).jpg
Minster Yard
Stonegate (Flickr).jpg
Stonegate

Anyone who has been following me for a while will know that I’ve dabbled in street photography, but to be perfectly honest I’m not sure it’s my thing. To me photography is about projecting my thoughts, feelings, and experiences into the frame – whether intentionally or not – and I find that having concrete subjects in my images makes that harder.

Here the people are not subjects. They are just shapes, like the buildings towering over them and the pavements on which they are walking, and what fascinates me about reducing this scene to mere shapes is that different people will see different things when they look at it. In Stonegate, I notice the man with the walking-stick, slightly less blurred than everyone else, but still with an unnerving haze surrounding him. To you he may just have been part of the background, and that, I think, says something about you as a person, just as my interest in this elderly man says something about me.

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