Rebel With A Cause

On the face of it, the capture is rather simple — a young man walking in the city.  On further inspection, though, I find the image more complex and moody.

In this nondescript urban setting, clumps of leaves litter two benches in a “park”, sans grass.  Garbage bins stand guard nearby.  The man strikes a James Dean pose as he pulls on a cigarette, collar up on the jacket.  He walks with a confident gait, seemingly assured of his destination.

But what is the ultimate destination?

The subway wall truncates the eastern access, leaving the grungy alleyway as the sole means of passage.  Security pillars and bars on the wall provide an additional atmosphere of incarceration.  Is he entering the inescapable walls of the city, meandering to a destination, or attempting to flee?

Photo captured on Chicago’s North Side.  Thoughts welcomed.

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33 thoughts on “Rebel With A Cause

  1. He looks as if he is walking a familiar route, but we’ll never know. That’s one of the great things about photography, one shot of a split second on a stranger’s life allows people to make up a whole story about the individual and his destination. The photo provides the setting, our imagination fills in the blanks.

  2. This is absolutely fabulous and I especially love how you described your image with your fantastic words! This photo is definitely moody and so mysterious… It makes me wonder where he is going for sure! I guess he’s just cutting through the alleyways, but it makes for a better story not knowing! Fantastic photograph… the black and white really adds to the mood and mystery! Alfred Hitchcock like… except he’d probably want the shot from above or extremely up-close so that you feel helpless and in the man’s control… but that is a perk of being a film director… can do whatever shot whenever you want if you have a good enough budget! Great post… seriously… I think I’m going to have to pin this one to my “inspiring photography” board on pinterest… crediting you of course. 🙂

  3. The use of B/W makes this a stronger statement than color. Also, It truly captures the feeling of the moment and does honor to the classic photographs of James Dean. Well Done !!

  4. Numbers 1-1-2-4-2-11 come to mind. One person, one tree to the right, two benches on each side of him, four pillars in front of him, two garbage bins to the right and eleven bars on the doorway ahead. A person surrounded by numbered items made of wood, concrete plastic and metal, a world without life no means of escape and an alluring doomsday scenario (I know cliche). Yet, this is a personal gloom, not something publicized on History-Discovery-Animal Planet channels. It’s a man’s path seemingly leading no where, yet he keeps on walking, it’s solitude at it best…

  5. Reblogged this on Infernal Deity of a Psychotic Mind and commented:
    Numbers 1-1-2-4-2-11 come to mind. One person, one tree to the right, two benches on each side of him, four pillars in front of him, two garbage bins to the right and eleven bars on the doorway ahead. A person surrounded by numbered items made of wood, concrete plastic and metal, a world without life no means of escape and an alluring doomsday scenario (I know cliche). Yet, this is a personal gloom, not something publicized on History-Discovery-Animal Planet channels. It’s a man’s path seemingly leading no where, yet, he keeps on walking, it’s solitude at it best…

  6. I like the stark contrasts and subtle suggestions of a hopeful lonesomeness. For some reason my mind’s eye imagines his uplifted left arm to be holding a very colorful lollipop to his eager lips, eyes alight with childish joy.

  7. Everything is truly the meaning we give it. I see only conformity and ugliness in this slice of life. This man may be imitating a movie character but he conforms to current fashion and the marketing image in the ‘cool rebel’ act of smoking addiction. Beauty cannot exist without ugliness so thanks for the glimpse of a truly ugly setting. I know, ‘Ugliness is in the mind of the beholder’ to flip the old saying. To leave that setting behind or work to change it (group effort) takes far more courage than to live in it’s restrictions and limitations. We can self-liberate any time.

  8. I like the lighting in this photo. I have many shots similar in that they are a scene at a park or along a path or lake with figures from the back. A figure in a photo adds so much more. Thanks for the likes on my photography blog, Brian. I really appreciate it!

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