Platform 14


This is a picture that I took of platform 14 in Manchester Piccadilly train station earlier in the week that made me think about Sontag’s musings on beauty and photographs:

“Nobody ever discovered ugliness through photographs. Though many, through photographs, have discovered beauty… Nobody exclaims, ‘Isn’t that ugly! I must take a photograph of it.’ Even if someone did say that, all it would mean is: “I find that ugly thing… beautiful.” [Sontag, 85]

I thought it was interesting because this is normally one of the ugliest places in the world for me and I would image for other people as well. It is dull, grey and very noisy . It’s usually absolutely packed with people and their suitcases. I usually turn up on this platform about 2 minutes before my train is due to depart, with bags weighing me down and a coffee in my hand that I’m likely to spill on other commuters. Yet, when robbed of context (the knowledge that the gross platform with one thousand irritated people exist just outside of the shot) and imbued with beautiful colours because of the sunset, it actually looks deseptively serene and attractive.


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