Uncommunicative, South 4th Street, #columbus #ohio

I wanted to challenge myself to take the original photo and enhance it in a way that infuses mystery, drama and curiosity. When captured, evening was fast approaching over the south side Columbus community, and it was apparent that this house was the only place inhabited within it’s immediate vicinity.

Who’s inside? Could the house be occupied by a long time owner economically or civically forced to stay despite the destructive environment outside? Why does the house remain closed off and uncommunicative?


Camera Plus :

• Photograph, square crop and save to Photo Library

PhotoForge2 :

• Import photo and duplicate so the image is on 2 separate layers.

• Top layer : add Gothic filter with over 50% strength to enforce dark shadows and dramatically enhance the light associated with the windows.

• Top layer : Incorporate Emboss filter, apply Overlay blend mode at 90%. The light tones created by the Emboss filter allow edge/line details subtlety pop.

• Flatten the two layers and apply the Sharpen filter at 10%

• Incorporate the Bottom Vignette filter at 20% to better ground the composition and hold the eye center.

Camera Plus :

• Apply Thick Black frame.

The Bracelet, East Reeb Avenue, Columbus, Ohio

“That’s a pretty dog you have. What kind is it?”

“I like to refer to him as a Golden-Collie.”

“Can I pet him?”

“Sure. He’s friendly.”

I approached her, stepped up onto the front porch of the two-family split house and was greeted with a sour blend of mold and urine. The scent of poverty. An older woman and a man on the cusp of middle age slumped forward on a porch swing next door, chain smoked cigarettes, and passed words back and forth in a strained Appalachian dialect.

“Come out here and take a look at this pretty dog!”

A boy and a girl of adolescent years appeared from behind the storm door and stared in silence at my dog. Behind them, an obscure figure of a young boy peered out at the action, but never left his place on the couch. Perhaps unimpressed by my dog’s gentle demeanor or intimidated by the gentle lead wrapped around his snout like a muzzle, the adolescent boy stepped back inside to watch television while the girl proceeded outside.

“Our dog just died.”

“Oh yeah? How old was he?”

“She was 10. But we have a new dog now.”

Just then I realized constant high pitched barking coming from the back of the house.

“What kind of dog did you get?”

“A pit. You’re dog sure is nice.”

Unlike the girl, the woman in the chair never looked past the bracelet she was creating nor my dog.

“So when do you think they’ll start redeveloping along Parsons? It’s been a huge empty lot for over a year now.”

“No one cares about the south side.”

“Have you lived here long?”

“I just moved in with my boyfriend.”


“Hey am I doing this right?”

The young girl looked over the bracelet, mumbled some instructions in the woman’s direction, and turned to go back inside the house.

I said good bye and turned to leave, but didn’t get a response. The woman leaned back in her chair, intent on finishing her bracelet.

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