Category Archives: 1 – Exploring Function

Exploring function

Room 3502, The Frankfurt Marriott

What is the function of a hotel room? Why stay at an expensive hotel chain? When I checked in I was told I had a free upgrade to a room with a skyline view. It was so foggy I could not see across the street so what is special about this room? The view may be better than lower down but I would not have paid extra for it even after the fog cleared the next night.

As someone who travels regularly on business I look for hotels that offer rooms with good internet access, a comfortable bed, a good shower and a restaurant that serves a reasonable breakfast. Friends and relatives always tell me I am lucky to stay in expensive hotels but they don’t see the reality on a trip like this I arrive late, after the hotel restaurant has closed, check into my room fire up the laptop, call some colleagues in California go to sleep after midnight. The next morning I am usually awake before dawn, making some coffee, getting a shower, catching up with email before rushing down to the restaurant for breakfast then getting a taxi to my meeting. The process repeats the following night in the same hotel or perhaps is preceded by a flight to another city.

As hotel rooms go this one is good, excellent wi-fi, a good desk to work at, a huge bed and plumbing that works. I spent sometime in the evening I arrived taking pictures from many angles, including some close-up shots of details but none of them really captured the function of the room. After some thought including a figure in the room would help and took shots that included myself working at the laptop, watching the television and opening the room door but again these didn’t capture the transitory period someone occupies the room. Finally, I came up with the idea of using an exposure that was long enough so that I could walk into or out of the frame so I appear as a ghostly figure. The picture below was my favourite of those I took, it was a five second exposure where I started sitting in front of the laptop and then got up and quickly walked out of the shot to the right.


In the picture, I like the contrast of the solid dark wooden desk contrasting with the ghostly figure working on the left-hand side. I also like the way the diagonal lines in the frame lead toward the room door which is just beyond the wardrobe in the right of the frame. It would have been good to be able to include the door as well but when I tried to do that the composition really didn’t work so well. There are certainly problems with this picture, the room was dark even though I had every light on that I could without burning too much detail. For example, the bed side lights visible in the mirror were just too distracting when they were on. I did try turning the spotlights in the ceiling above the wardrobe doors off but decided although they make the ceiling in the top right of the frame overly bright they bring out detail in the doors rather than just have a very shadowy blob there