The Empty Bench

The Empty Bench

I am like
This empty bench:
Worn, faded,
I sit and watch the world turn

This is a photo from my archives. I’ve not been feeling very well for the last few weeks and so have not been able to get much further with my writing or to take many photos recently, so I thought I’d take the chance to post this photo in the meantime as it’s one of my favourites and I don’t think many people have seen it before.

It’s of an empty bench near a small lake in Sydney’s Centennial Park and I took it almost two years ago now, just after I’d bought my first SLR and was going on a photo walk to try it out. The original photo (available here if you want to see it) was just a simple landscape shot and I edited it fairly simply to maintain the original feel of the photo and I was quite happy with how it turned out, but on a whim I decided to come back to the photo again about a year later, after I’d learnt more about editing, and looking at it I thought about how I could process and re-imagine it differently, and the kind of stark, minimalistic feel of the photo inspired me to re-edit it more like a painting and this was the result.

I really like it and think it is much more striking and it’s definitely one of my all time favourite images. What I find really interesting though is how it shows that the process of editing never stops; you might think you’re done but every now and then it’s worth going back and looking at old images with fresh eyes because you never know, something new might emerge that you just couldn’t imagine before. I find the same is often true with my stories as well; I’ll often rework ideas from past abandoned stories into new ones, for example, in ways I just never thought of before. I guess it’s all part of honing your skills, whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist, or anyone really.

If you’re wondering where the haiqua came from as well, I’ve just had a lot on my mind these last few weeks and have been feeling rather down, so I guess the haiqua is a bit of a reflection on all of that. I’ve always found that writing helps a little and while it is sad it’s not meant to be particularly depressing; the world turns and the sun sets and rises each day, and life goes on. That’s what I take from the haiqua; we just have to find our way forward as best we can and remember that when darkness does come, the sun will always rise again.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2011-13

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