Jim Morrison
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Camera: ILCE-7RM2
  • Taken: 15 December, 2015
  • Exposure bias: -3/10EV
  • Flash fired: no
  • Focal length: 90mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/400s

If you’re going to add a little something special to your store front when the shutters are down, then a portrait of the great Jim Morrison seems like an excellent choice. The Doors where a very important band to me in my mind-forming mid-teens and I still get a rebellious twitch when I hear their music now. It reminds me of another one of my strolls a few years back, this time in Paris on a romantic long weekend away, when my partner and I happened upon the Père Lachaise cemetery. I was unaware of its history and was taken aback when I came across the graves of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, another important figure from my later teens. A quick search online would have added the names of such creative luminaries as Marcel Proust, Edith Piaf, Marcel Marceau, Georges Méliès, Rossini, Chopin, Balzac, Moliére… all also buried there. To be honest, the works of Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are the only two from that list that I would say helped forge my character as I transitioned into adulthood.

I’m not sure why but the school I went to in my teens seemed to exist in some sort of retro time warp musically. Sure, we listened to the music of the day but it was here that I was introduced to music that still resonates strongly with me today: Van Morrison’s ‘Astral Weeks’ (‘Beside You’ and ‘The Way Young Lovers Do’ are two stand-out songs for me, where I have to stop whatever I’m doing), Neil Young’s ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ (‘Thrasher’ and ‘Powderfinger’), Janis Joplin’s ‘Cheap Thrills’ (‘Summertime’ and ‘Ball and Chain’), some of Love’s ‘Forever Changes’, David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’ as my summer album studying on the rooftops, various Led Zeppelin, not much Bob Dylan… But it was with Jim Morrison that I actually went beyond listening to the music, wanting to know more about the man and searching out a biography on him. Can’t remember the book’s title now but that’s not the point.

The photo here of the excellent streetart has no particular technical merit. I was walking along, saw the artwork, recognised the face immediately, stopped, adjusted camera settings, took a picture, there was very little I had to do to make the image stand out. Personally, I like the fact that there’s a door locked where his face is; it plays with the idea of ‘The Doors’, the doors of perception, a locked door into the mind… And I like the fact that even to this day, his face can be found proudly displayed on the streets of places as far away as this one in Mendoza, Argentina! Memories, eh.

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