I am fascinated with the loading bay urban aesthetic! There is something about the combination of grey concrete, rough stonework, horizontal ridges of metal shutters, graffiti and wooden pallets that screams of an unashamed grunge chic.
Previously I wrote about our experimental session with Ivor Gott where the raised platform of a loading bay was treated as an imaginary theatrical scene.
In Part 2 of the blog series about my Urban Portraits Dumfries project shoot with the young actor Captain Jack (see Part 1 here) we continued to check out the urban/industrial “mini stages” of Brewery Street. Located at the back of the First Base Agency and nearby they are quite different from the loading bay we used for Ivor’s cool toned virtual lounge.
As Jack brought an orange basket ball as his “mystery prop,” I was looking for a space that would feature warm ochre-like colours ranging from yellow to deep orange and brown. The reddish-brown rear doors of the First Base Agency with a casually leaning pallet and edged by orange stonework exposed by fallen off plaster fitted the bill. I just asked Jack to dribble the ball in the area using the door rectangle as a natural frame.
After the outfit change we proceeded to the loading bay in the vicinity. I was attracted by the strong triangle of light projected on the brick wall against which a weathered pallet was propped. I suggested Jack leaned against the pallet and positioned his head near the edge of the triangle, using the contrast between light and shadow as a deliberate graphic element.
I then positioned him right in the corner of the bay where distinct perspective lines of the metal roller shutter, marred by the random graffiti scrolls, were joining horizontal rows of the laid concrete blocks to emphasise depth in the scene.
Jack performed a running man jump in front of that shutter – it was interesting to explore the juxtaposition of the moving human figure with the utilitarian industrial surface.
Finally, we used the accidental triptych of textures formed on the wall by the stripes of the sloppy plaster medley, the original brickwork and the concrete blocks added to strengthen the bay opening. It was an eclectic but strangely appealing urban portrait background!