Seeing 16:9

While I was out today the wife and I stopped by J.C. Penney at West Oaks Mall to pick up some father's day clothing she'd ordered for me. I have this ritual where every other father's day I order new clothing to replace all that I've worn out. This was The Year to make the order.

One of the stores we ordered from was J.C. Penney on-line. Unfortunately the order arrived at the brick-and-mortar store a lot later than expected. The good part of this story is that I tried the clothing there in one of their dressing rooms rather than running home to try it on and then hauling it back to return it. It was a good thing I did, because I didn't like hardly any of the clothing in person, and the one pair of pants I selected to try on didn't fit. I was able to put it all back in the box and return it right there on the spot.

I've been playing around lately with different aspect ratios, one of which is 16:9. While waiting for the order to first arrive I walked around the area and started to photograph some of the store mannequins with that aspect ratio in mind. The store, as well as the mall, is still suffering from the poor economy and because of it the store was rather empty of customers while we were there, adding a certain element of eeriness. I also had the old Twilight Zone episode "The After Hours" rattling around in my mind along with the Ninth Dr. Who episode "Rose." It didn't take much for me to begin to imagine these mannequins as part of those stories. And the very empty store helped to compose shots without people, or people who were so far out on the edges of the photo that you couldn't tell if they were people or more mannequins.

I want to do a bit of videography. To do that I believe I'll need to be able to at least "see" in the aspect ratio to help compose the "scenes" I want to video. I have this look in mind I want to infuse in my videos, if I ever make them, that looks a lot like the photos above. It's also a lot easier (for me anyway) to imagine a video story as a series of storyboards and to photograph them as 16:9 photographs. And there's something very, very rich about black and white. I guess I've seen too many film noir movies in my past.


Taken with the Olympus E-PL1 and the Panasonic 14mm. Post processed in Silver Efex Pro 2.


  1. Wow nice photos Bill - can't wait to see your original Bill Beebe film noir! These look like secret agents anyway... ;-)


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