A silent and serene night on the riverbanks of Hiroshima’s Peace Park.
his week WordPress challenged its photographers to invert their normal methods and “turn the tables” by taking a picture of yourself, or someone else who should be the subject of the shot, but instead blurring them, or shooting their shadow, causing the background to become the focus of the shot. I thought it was interesting enough and remembered a series of shots I took of Hiroshima’s Peace Park late one January evening.
It was well after midnight and the rain that had cast itself across the glass of our trains windows for the last hour or so had vanished. A low fog hung in its wake, and the walk along the riverfront had a ghostly yet serene quality to it. I didn’t know it at the time, but we stood on the east bank of the Peace Park and near at ground zero of the atomic bomb that devastated the city more than 60 years ago. The whole scene was tranquil and motionless. The stillness was doubled when you gazed into the black midnight waters of the river; filled with nothing but the clear stagnant reflections of the surface. The light trails of late night travelers, red and white, whizzed across the bridge and their watery counterparts did the same. Tree limbs became both branches, as they stretched up to the sky, and roots, as they reached down through the murk. The sound of the tramcar that carried us here was muted by the mists, the way the first white snow of winter tends to do. It was the first time I had ever been to the city and if I never return the rain-wake mists and mirroring waters of that evening in Hiroshima have certainly left their impression upon me.