Thursday, March 30, 2017

How Many Words Is A Picture Worth?

I came across this picture somewhere and I was dumbstruck by everything that is going on and how the photographer found the perfect moment to snap the shutter.  Some neighborhood kids are watching some daredevils jump out a second story window onto some old mattresses.  Another kid is hanging rather precariously onto what looks to be a area of brickwork that is gone or a porch area.  Aside from all that action going on we have an older spectator watching who happens to be carrying a dummy, which, it seems, is looking at the photographer.  And the dummy is the only one of some 2 dozen participants who is looking at the guy taking the picture.  It is an awesome snapshot of a what looks to be ghetto fun.  

The next wonderful picture is what must be a bombed out library or bookstore.  I am guessing Britain in World War II?  Not deterred by the burnt rubble or what looks to be dangerous rafters these guys go about their business or pleasure of searching literature with the calm stoicism we have come to expect from the Brits.   A great picture of normal life when normalcy has been upended.

The next great photo is a city-scape of something going down between a cop and a shoeshine boy in which we see the event through a mirror.  We don't know what is happening but the situation is certainly enough to get the attention of just about everyone around.  Technically the picture is perfect:  no one is looking at the guy with the camera.  And isn't that the best when taking street shots?  Also, it would have been easier to simply take the picture head on, but the artist decided to frame it with the mirror hanging on the next door building.  

Our final perfect picture is a young lady sitting at the railway station as a train approaches.  Its almost like a scene from a carefully choreographed movie.  What we see is a lady who may or may not be happy.  All I see here are questions.  Is she leaving or waiting?  If she is leaving is she going to a love, or something less joyful?  And if she is waiting is it for a lover, a family member, or is this a place she likes to hang out to relive past happier times?  If she is waiting for her lover is she about to tell him she no longer loves them?  This is the look of someone who is wrestling with something.  She is not an eager-beaver anticipating a long-sought reunion.  All kinds of questions.  All kind of perfection in this picture. 

Great photography isn't telling someone to say "cheese".  It is catching people doing everyday things in maybe not so everyday happenings.  Like artworks hanging in museums, so phtography is art and now on your computer.  

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