Doors, King and Dylan
by Shawna Black
As you know, I love photography and I love to write stories. What you may not know is that I love to read. I can remember reading books as young as six. No, the books weren’t six, I was. When I seven years old, my father retired from the military after 22 years of service. We were living in Fairbanks, Alaska at the time and Mom and Dad decided that we were all moving to Southern California to be near Grandpop. Alaska to California, can we get anymore extreme? Did you know that it’s a seven-day drive from Fairbanks to San Diego? At least it was in 1973. If I remember correctly, the highway from Alaska to Canada was dirt. Not sure if it still is. And it was November.
When we left Alaska, I was seven years old and in the second grade. I have a very distinct memory of reading a book about a bunch of animals (mice, cats?) and their life in the city. I hadn’t finished this book when we moved and I remember my mother telling me that I can get the book again out of my new school’s library. For some reason, I never did find that book and I’ve always wondered how it ended. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the book. For years I wish I knew so I could finish it.
My point? Books, stories, the written word have always had a big impact on me. I suppose that’s why I love the Internet. Anything in the world that you want to read is at your fingertips. Except, of course, for this book that I was reading in 2nd grade when my family moved and have never been able to find (or remember the name of).
So, to make a long story even longer, one of my favorite authors is Stephen King. The man is brilliant. He is to the novel as is Bob Dylan to lyric and music. BRILLIANT! The way King can write a 1000 page book and tie details together and not miss a step is amazing. AMAZING! No Stephen King novel made into a movie has ever given the written words the justice that they deserve and probably never will. I just don’t think it’s possible to translate one to the other. At least, I haven’t seen it yet.
Years ago, my father bought the first of the Dark Tower series by King and I couldn’t wait for him to finish the book so could read it myself. After the first in the series, he bought the second as soon as it was released, and I think maybe we read this book at the same time, because I could not wait for him to finish. There were many years between the release of books three and four and then again between four and five and I’ve just started to reread the series from the beginning. I’m currently on book four.
The Drawing of the Three was the second in the Dark Tower series. The premise of this book was the main character’s need to take people out of other worlds and pulled them into his world for use in his own quest of the “dark tower”. The Main character, Roland, would happen upon free-standing doors on a beach which led to “other” worlds. Other worlds, other dimensions, others times. Fascinating concept.
Which brings us to doors. I have always wanted to do a photograph of one of “the doors” that King describes in The Drawing of the Three. Twenty years ago, I would have accomplished this in the darkroom with a double exposure on paper. Now, I can do this in Photoshop! I shall work on this over the next couple of months.
For now, I give you this door, or set of doors, as it is. I work in a building that is over 100 years old. These doors are on the left side of the building, first floor, and lead to the alley. I doubt the doors are original, but I’m sure that the brick is. I totally manipulated this image in Photoshop, increasing the brightness and the contrast. A lot. I’m still getting to know my new camera.
The contrast between the harsh red brick and the soft window panels in the door is what I like about this photo. Blue and red. Soft and hard. And not in a sexual sense, you perverts. Wait. I thought that. Nevermind.
Pretty cool, though. The doors. I gotta go shoot the doors on the beach. Soon. And if anyone can tell me then name of the book that I didn’t have the opportunity to finish in the 2nd grade? That’d be cool, too.
Shawna hopes you didn't think this was going to be about Jim Morrison and Elvis.