Chair Story


As a general rule, I try not to duplicate the images which I feature on my blog. This image illustrated a post about rules and personality types, based on an article written by Gretchen Rubin. It generated an interesting discussion, with commenters identifying themselves in their relationship to rules.

But I have to admit – duplicate or not – I love this image. And when reviewing my January shots, it was this one that drew me back, again and again. So I hope you’ll bear with me and allow the repetition.

This image is somewhat of a departure from my usual style and composition. There’s a story here. Maybe a story as simple as the tired janitor who left for the night without putting the chairs away. Or in more fanciful, metaphorical terms – a story about a rebel, about someone who stands alone. Who doesn’t line up with the rest of the crowd but carves out her own space, right there in the middle of the floor. Not caring what the others think.

I love the light and the satiny shine of the floor and those gorgeous wavy distorted reflections, flowing like peach-tinted water. This image has depth and diagonal lines that pull you into those depths.

This image was taken from outside, through a window, into an interior space – taken on a whim, because the light was so lovely. With no expectations that it would later capture my heart. I figured it was a throw-away shot but I just couldn’t resist that floor.

I didn’t realize there was a story here until I looked deeper; beyond the reflections that initially caught my eye.

A story about listening to that quiet rebel voice. The one that asks “why not?” and “who says?”

A chair story.

Linking with the Photo-Heart Connection, hosted by Kat Sloma


Posted on February 7, 2013, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Wonderful photo-hear connections! This image jumped out and grabbed me the first time you posted it! Yes, it’s beautiful with gorgeous light and wonderfu lines, but there’s something else there. Like you said “there’s a story here!” When I see that one chair out by itself, it gives me courage to be myself, be different, and stop worrying about what others think! It definitely connected to my heart, too!

    • Cathy – yes, there are some images that immediately make that connection, don’t they? As a very strong “Upholder”, rebellion and questioning are defiitely not something that comes easy to me. I like that this image gives me the inspiration and courage to be that chair.

  2. Great interpretation of your wonderful chair photo, Brenda! It’s worthy of being posted twice — and to think it was almost put in the throw-away pile. I love the reflections and the warm tones in your image. Yay for the nonconformists!

    • Gina – thanks so much! I am often surprised by the images that speak to me later, in post-processing. The ones that I just knew were “winners” turn out not to be so and the throw-aways turn out to be keepers. I like that element of surprise. And this was certainly one of them. I would like to imagine myself being that chair, the rebel and nonconformist. It is certainly a goal worth striving for.

  3. I love this image, Brenda. I loved the light, lines and the out-of-line chair the moment I saw it! But I’m most struck by the contrast in your words from start to finish. Early in the post you ask us to “bear with you and allow the repetition.” The rule about not repeating is your rule for yourself, not mine. You don’t need my permission. Contrast this with the last line, “The one that asks ‘why not?’ and ‘who says?'” Do you see the contrast I see between the two? It’s almost as if the desire for independence from the rules and expectations you have for yourself emerges, as you wrote. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous photo and message in the Photo-Heart Connection this month!

    • Kat – oh, yes, you are definitely right. This non-repetition “rule” is certainly one of my own making. Why I feel the need for the rule in the first place – and then why I feel the need to apologize for “breaking” it – is something I need to consider and ponder. Another hidden rule brought to light. I would like to think there is a rebel inside, free from those rules and expectations. I appreciate your input and thoughtful response.

  4. The afterwards of an experience. I envision a stage of actors learning their dialogue. Beautiful, graceful storytelling. Smiles: sharon

    • Sharon – I like that vision – a stage of actors – bringing to mind Shakespeare’s quote from As You Like It) “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players”. Thanks for adding another layer to my Chair Story.

  5. Isn’t it amazing how our unconscious works? That altho you weren’t sure what initially drew you to the you are?? Loved this image the first time you shared it..and just as much this second. A surprise to me that you captured it thru a window!

    • Marcie – I have become quite a Peeping Tom, peering into abandoned or empty buildings, looking for something interesting. It’s rather amazing what can be discovered and captured through the glass.

  6. This is a beautiful image Brenda, I love all the lines & light & shadows. Glad you posted it again.

  7. Such a striking photo. Definitely leaves the mind open to making up a story to go with the picture. No worries about repeating since many of us are seeing this for the first time 🙂

    • Sarah – that story-telling aspect is my favorite thing about this image. I so appreciate that you stopped by my little corner of cyberspace – please do come back again.

  8. This image and your reflections on it are a perfect example of how we humans create meaning. We create beauty also.

    • Anita – this image spoke so strongly to me, in a way that was unusual for my images. And isn’t that the reason we do what we do – to find meaning and beauty?

  9. I so admired this image the first go around, as you know. Seeing it again is like a bonus. The light-yum, the softness and the sense of maverick you discuss. I have a bit of that definant rebel in me….despite being a rule follower too. An interesting mix I suppose.
    I’m thinking about your (and mine too) decision or dislike for repeating images. I did the same for my PHC this month too. BUT, like a favorite song in a concert it may be a good thing. When you hear a song once on the radio, well, you may like it, but it doesn’t fully allow you to know it. It takes several hearings before it sinks in, and sometimes several before you realize you like. When you do, you want to hear it again-multiple times. Maybe we need to remember that. Hell, we could post the same photo every two or three weeks-nah. Just kidding.
    Love your choice and loved seeing it again.

    • Susan – I’m glad you enjoyed seeing this one again. Like with your PHC image, there really wasn’t any other choice for me this month. And as Kat pointed out in the comments, that no-repetition “rule” is one that we made up ourselves – and as the rule creators, it is certainly within our rights to break that rule whenever we want. It’s just that I have a really hard time even breaking my own rules. Not much of a rebel heart here. Although I would love to develop one.

  10. Brenda, you could repeat this shot every week and I would not tire of it. There is so much to see in it – it speaks on so many levels. And, it is so beautiful.
    Here’s to the the rebel, to the chair, and, in gratitude, for your eye that sees it all..

    • Juli – don’t tempt me! Repeating this image would make my blog writing SO much easier. 🙂 And I am trying to cultivate my “rebel” side, although that is a major undertaking for a rule-follower such as myself. But, yes – here’s to the chair and the rebel spirit it represents.

  11. Beautiful image, Brenda. Simply beautiful. I like where it took you and how it became your favorite. There is so much in your words.

    • Deb – sometimes an image surprises you – with what it becomes, with the stories it tells. This was one of those surprises. I like that photography can still surprise me like this.

  12. Hello Brenda,

    I’m behind in my reading, but I certainly love what you’ve written here. Every once in a great while when looking at images I’ve captured, I find one that really moves me. And like you, when I took the shot, I never expected it would be what it turned out to be. I love this image…and the light and as you describe the reflections on the floor as “peach-tinted” water, I’m moved by your writing as well as the image. One of these days I hope to listen to my quiet “rebel voice.” Your words along with Kat Sloma’s about pre-apologizing for our art have really resonated with me today. Thank you!

    Take care,


    • Suzette – Oh, I am so happy to have you here, in my little corner of cyberspace. And I am so glad to know this image moved you, as it did me. That feeling of surprise and discovery, when a certain image becomes more than it was, is one of the best things about photography for me. For me, my rebel voice is very, very quiet – I’m not even sure I have one – being the rule-follower that I am. But I am certainly willing to search for it. Thanks so much for being here and taking the time to comment.

  13. And again, great ligth that you captured.
    And an intriguing composition…

    • Thank you. This is currently my favorite photograph, for all the reasons that I mentioned in the post. Sometimes we get lucky and create something bigger than what we imagined or intended.

  14. This image captures my heart every time I look at it. And I love your questions at the end — “why not” indeed!!

    • Lisa – yes, this has become a favorite image. Perhaps, down the road, we should make it a WFF image – I would be curious to see what imaginative story you come up with to go along with it.

      And, I certainly need to ask the “why not” and “who says” questions more often but they don’t come easy to a rule-follower like myself.

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