Behind this shot : the wheelchair 2


It’s been a while since I wrote anything and even longer since I did a Behind This Shot. I took this photo yesterday. I was just parked in a somewhat shabby parking lot and heading to a store to pick up a document. The parking lot is right next to an old car wash facility. It is abandoned, but the structure of the installation is still there. I often pass by this place and thought this station was still in operation. But it is obvious that no one comes here anymore, at least not to have their vehicle cleaned. Old car batteries and all kinds of auto parts are lying around.

Right next to this old station there is an old hangar with round openings. As there is a little wind, I see the curtains fluttering by the wind. What attracts me is that I seem to distinguish a wheelchair. The sun entering through one of the circular openings illuminates this wheelchair. Suffice to say that my eyes are drawn to this surreal situation. What does a wheelchair do in an abandoned and dingy place like this ? I poke my head inside the hangar and see different big bins. It looks like an abandoned squat at first glance, but the curtains that were put up on the windows look quite recent and give this shed a little cozy feel. There are also a few plastic chairs inside.

On closer inspection, it also looks like a place where petty trafficking in things that are not very Catholic could take place. I am a little careful because I do not want to have any problems and I quickly take some pictures of this scene. The central element for me is of course the wheelchair. About ten meters separate me from the window in front of which it is, but seen from here, it does not look to me in bad condition. I try different compositions while playing with the curtains which swirled in the wind, but nothing very foolish. There may be better things to do and that’s where I see these rounded shapes repeating themselves in the scene in front of me. The window I’m in front of, the window behind the wheelchair, the wheels of the chair and also the patterns on the curtain. I’m also happy to have in the composition, this palm tree which gives a little organic touch to this scene.

I really like this photo because it is very mysterious and the presence of this wheelchair calls out. It is placed near a window, as wheelchairs often are in homes. The place where you can observe the outside world while you are stuck with your reduced mobility. But there is missing the person who should be in this wheelchair. The light is perfect with a bright foreground and background and a dark part in the middle. In short, a great photo opportunity. The kind of things that happen when you least expect them. I went to get my document. I walked back to this scene and realized that the light had changed. I did well to take the shot before …

All the photos were made with the Fujifilm XF10.

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2 thoughts on “Behind this shot : the wheelchair

  • John Harper

    When I opened this post and looked at your photograph I thought “repeating motif” and wondered what you saw. Then I read your article. I’m delighted to see the same. It’s a mysterious shot, asks a lot of questions…maybe that wheelchair is a message from the ‘dealers’, snoop around here with your camera and you’ll end up in one of these!

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      I love these moments when I’m not expecting anything. I was back from the gym and I had a few things to do before going back home and as I always have my camera with me, i was at the right spot at the right moment. Another photo with no human inside. I start to like taking this kind of photos. You can feel the human presence in this one. This wheelchair is odd. May be you’re right, might be some place where dealers opperate … I wouldn’t hang around here after sunset for sure