Thursday, December 01, 2005

Paris Knows 4

This shot isn't supposed to be to reverential.

A couple of guys with bright red ears checking out a snow-bound Lady Eiffel desperately leaning over to fit into the pic, and why not?

The reason I did this was given to me by the fact that she was leaning very slightly to other side of the vertical.

Now, there's a very definite difference between slightly off kilter and totally askew.

So, the trick is, if you want to use a technique which could put you in danger of being taken for a Really Crap Photographer, then do it wildly enough that people can't help but realise that you Meant To Do It.

They will then believe that you are a really talented and off-the-wall avant-gardist, rather than just a visually and artistically challenged dork.

Another example of this is with blur, or out-of-focus shots.

I think you'll agree that all of my fuzzy pics or ghostly goblins spookily flitting across my urban landscapes are OBVIOUSLY meant to be that way, and not due to a severe case of delirium tremens-induced camera shake.

Don't you?

Good.

Now this is such a cute shot. Dad bends down to make a new snowball, and BAM!

Right on the old backside! Bad luck dad! Should have expected that one! You're slipping up in your old age.

And this shot is curious, not because it's a great shot, but just because it can serve to show a certain balance being achieved, even if I do say so myself.

I always try to look for a connection between the subjects in my photos. It's important to always have this in mind when you're out shooting. What is the perceived relationship between the different elements that go to make up the image?

It can be that snowball and the implicit fun and love and great time being had by all in that shared moment. You can even almost imaging the trajectory of the projectile tracing a link between a father and his son.

And here, while it's much less emotional, there is still a strong bond between the photographer and his subject.

And what is that link? There's more than one, and they operate on various different levels.

First of all, both of the subjects in the picture are suffering out there in the biting chill of a snowing winter's day. Both are suffering for their art, and doing what they believe to be the right thing to do. It's not false to imagine the statue as as much a valid character in this little scene as the photographer. Why? Because don't forget that you are looking at an image. In this shot, the photographer in the red top and the blue jeans is as lifeless, or as full as life, if you like, as the statue.

The photographer you see in the picture is capturing a piece of sculpture and turning it into a piece of art called a photographic image.

I, on the other hand, am capturing a piece of sculpture, and a photographer and turning them both into the piece of art you see here. The sculptor probably had a live model in front of him for many hours, but where is that brave model now?

And where is my brave red and blue clad photographer now? I don't know and I never will. All I have is this image.

The second connection between the two subjects of this piece is the positioning of them in the frame. One top right, the other bottom left. This creates a strong diagonal dynamic drawing the eye from one to the other in the same direction as the subjects' apparent gazes.

Another interesting point, not so much of connection, but of contrast, which in itself connects, is the bright, almost larger-than-life colours of the chap on the left, in stark contrast with the dark, sinister tones of the earlier human representation on the right.

And could we also fancifully suppose that subconsciously, with his timidly raised left leg, the photographer is imagining that he, too, could one day be raised onto such a pedestal as his elevated yet cruelly indifferent subject?

At the risk of boring all of us, we can notice the nonchalant smoothness of the photographer's jacket and jeans, in violent opposition to the ghoulishly oozing garments of the unknown supplicant.

And finally, they both have their arms identically raised, for their own unconnected purposes, and yet that unsettling repetition of the bent elbow only raises the tension, and the questions. For me anyway.

Here endeth the observations. I hope you found them useful.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice dark winter clouds in Paris !!!

==Alaska

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