When the pandemic first led to lock-downs, in March of 2020, we had just started a month in an AirBnB in St Petersburg Florida and I thought all the empty parking lots were a telling sign of the times. Since then, I am always struck by the wide open expanses of empty parking lots, so well evoked by Joni Mitchell’s famous song, Big Yellow Taxi. Below are a couple more from the same walk around Farnham in early August.
The NHS sent me for an annual blood test at the local hospital. Outside I found this sculpture surrounding a mirrored globe in the car park. I’m not sure what it’s about but I had to see what it would look like in a photograph.
There’s just something about empty, lonely parking spaces…. or are they places? Or heterotopias?
Empty parking lots exert a strange attraction for me.
I was wandering around in this Chicago neighborhood for a little while, waiting to meet someone, and I happened to notice quite a few empty parking lots (it was Sunday morning) within a couple of blocks, some in sadly dilapidated condition.
Click any image to see them all enlarged (on a laptop or PC).
An interesting challenge in photographic composition. Which image is stronger? In the top image we have the nice diagonal line of the birds, leading us in, as well as the converging lanes drawing our eye to the nearer and more prominent shopping cart. In the bottom image the bird in front draws the eye more, we still have the converging lanes and a diagonal line of birds, dividing the image almost in half, and I think there’s a stronger sense of the emptiness of the parking lot. Your thoughts?
Was it Stephen Shore who first started cataloguing American suburban commercial spaces? Whoever it was, was a genius. Since then it’s become a bit of a cliché as everyone’s piled into this space. Nevertheless, a short walk along route 70 this past weekend offered many such vistas, the empty parking lots and gray November sky capturing some of the feeling of vast emptiness this pandemic has created (to be fair, it was a Sunday).