Cortona #3 - The spaces in-between


Last night I photographed shapes created as the sun cast angular shadows onto Cortona's medieval buildings. This evening, by way of literal and figurative contrast, I've switched my attention to the spaces in-between.

We tend to photograph "things". This thing and that thing demand our attention and become obvious subjects for our photographs. We're always pointing our cameras at "things". Sometimes, however, the space around something can be as interesting as the thing itself.

In music, the dramatic pauses which build anticipation contribute as much to the atmosphere of a piece as the notes played. There's even a word for it. It's called a "Fermata" or, in Italian, a "Corona". It's often used to indicate where the musician would take a breath. So, pleasingly, I've been photographing visual coronas in Cortona. The Cortona coronas, if you prefer.

In great speeches, the masterful orator knows that careful measurement of the gaps between words can build tension and focus the audience's attention. Would "I have a dream" be quite so memorable without the subsequent pause? Would "Ask not what your country can do for you..." be so familiar to us today if it had run quickly into the words which followed.

Moments of comfortable silence between close friends can speak volumes. Those quiet alleyways between two people will tell you more about their relationship than the tangible words and gestures they share. If you're not convinced, go and see a Harold Pinter play and notice how the pauses between dialogue are often where the real drama takes place.

So, here's a celebration of spaces. A nod in the direction of the pause.

The gap.

The silence.