The Mesmerising Reflections at Harbour Stop

Strangely, one of my favourite shots from Christmas Day’s photo shoot in the city was of peering through the windows of Harbour Stop.  With its grubby glass, light flares, ghostly interior, glimpses from across the road through the other side, and reflections of its’ own arcades, and the buildings across the road behind me, it is a slightly confusing melange of images that are a fitting reflection of my 2012.

Reflections from all directions

San Domingo suggested beefing up the contrast would help add definition to the shot.

San Domingo suggested I might add more contrast to my original shot - I think it is an improvement, what do you think?

Reflections from all Directions 2 – I think it is an improvement, what do you think?

Gunaratne and I were beetling away from the harbour toward Pettah when I caught sight of the building, its triangular flatiron profile somewhat camouflaged at first by wide arcades.  In my excitement I almost tumbled from the tuk tuk tuk as it came to rest after our uninterrupted wheelie across the deserted street!  I hope you’ll enjoy a couple of the other shots I took of this once grand and optimistic construction.

In the spirit of sharing we so enjoy here at Marianne’s CBBH Challenges, I’d like to introduce you to two blogs I’ve been enjoying:  one new to me, the other a ‘catch up’ because somehow her posts haven’t been coming through my reader.  Please meet Nilanjana Roy, a journalist, poet and commentator from India, and Cheryl, About Elephants, a writer, photographer and watcher of elephants in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.  These two women are linked by the power of their words – I think you’ll find both blogs interesting, to say the least.

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53 thoughts on “The Mesmerising Reflections at Harbour Stop

  1. I love those wedge shaped buildings. I grew up in Boston where the streets were laid out in ways that made those buildings a necessity…when people think about flatiron architecture they mainly think of skyscrapers but there are lots of 2-4 story flatirons too!
    My fave pic is the doorway entitled “The Pointy End.”

    • I hadn’t realised there were so many in Boston! I remember seeing one in Sydney before I went travelling, but the first time I really tweeked to them was in Toronto, where there is a wonderful red brick Segovia ‘palace’ shaped place at the edge of the CBD.

      They’re an innovation of the ‘industrial’ age, aren’t they? I always associate them with the Art Nuveau – when steel and glass and stone/brick came into a glorious marriage of new forms. It tickles my fancy to think of the man whose imagination was sparked by one of the ‘famous’ flatirons from abroad and decided to replicate the design for the tropics. And what a success it was, especially the ground floor area with its two wide arcades protecting its glass birds cage from the sun.

      I’m glad you liked ‘pointy end’ – I only managed to get the shot because there was no traffic on the roads … 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed a wander around Nilanjana and Cheryl’s blogs – I always like that part of Marianne’s challenge.

      I wouldn’t say this was a typical Colombo building – but it’s a city with very mixed heritage that’s beginning to emerge from 30 years of neglect after the war.

    • I think so, Sylvia – I hope I can talk to some old timers who remember the early days because it somehow inspired my curiosity about that time in the city – when people had confidence and optimism.

  2. I love the architecture and the reflections. The first photo especially has a magical quality to it. Now I’m off to check out the two bloggers you have introduced, thanks.

    • San Domingo suggested a little more contrast would improve the shot – I think it has heightened the definition without taking anything away from the magic of not knowing what is real and what is illusion.

    • Ummm – we don’t have things like that here unfortunately – though I was overjoyed to see a whole lot of renovation work being done on several old buildings in the centre of the city – so I’ve got my fingers crossed this building will garner some attention in the future.

    • No idea about what it used to be John – I need to talk to some old-timers to see if anybody remembers. If the resurrection of the city continues, it should be ripe for a new lease on life. I must say I’d love an apartment up on the second floor … 🙂

    • It’s a gorgeous building – quite pure in style and I’m afraid it might not conform to what the new wave of developers deem salvageable. Hopefully its location at the far edge of the city might save it till some discerning buyer comes along with vision, and deep pockets … 🙂

  3. The photo of the reflections is intriguing; I love the different layers and the uncertainty of what is a reflection and what is ‘real’. I often take shots along those lines, but they don’t often turn out as well.

    • I think the trick is the distance of the camera from the glass, so you can tell what it is you’re focussing on – reality or reflection. This shot had the added complexity of being able to see through the windows on the other side of the room, and the reflections in those windows as well. I’m so glad it intrigued you for a while, Rowena 🙂

  4. the first photo is entrancing, often our lives seem full of mystery and illusion like that image … hard to tell what is substantial and what will disappear as your point of view changes … i look forward to visiting those two blogs, they sound wonderful, thank you meredith 😀

    • I’m sure you’ll enjoy them, Christine – when you’ve got time for a bit of reading! You’ve hit the nail right on the head! When I look back, I can’t get a handle on anything really substantial about 2012 – it’s as though a lot of it has been lived in my head, producing conflicting realities – only time will tell disentangle the pictures 🙂

    • Ephemeral. That’s a point! When I downloaded it from the camera, I thought it was perfect and didn’t touch it for fear of spoiling the moment … I’ll have to keep looking to see what I feel. Thanks Lynne 🙂

  5. A beautiful building Meredith! Love the glazed windowsand the arcades.
    But most of all I am grateful to you for leading me to those two brilliant blogs!

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