Understanding the Image.
Well it is finally upon us, 2012. What a long and testing year this has been. I think this year has really shown to me that so much can happen in such short periods of time. I experienced so much. Travelling to Canada, America and Hong Kong, getting images published in an international magazine, working as photographic director for a local student magazine, shooting my first wedding, passing my first year at uni and even starting work as an assistant for a brilliant Western Australian photographer. For me, an interesting year though not with out devastation as my best friend Sam Trowbridge passed away.
As part of my New Years Resolution I thought I should start commenting more in this blog in order to make it a bit more interesting. Hopefully it will give viewers an insight in to the events and ideas surrounding the images instead of just bombarding the viewers with photos in which they have to draw their own conclusions.
I aim to write a few words about my favourite image from each roll published. This will be to help explain why I like it and ask questions to the viewer in which they should reflect upon it and other images (not just my own) to gain a better understanding of how an image talks and is constructed.
So without further a due here is my first entry. What better way to start than with my favourite image of the year.
Why do I like this image? Why do I think it is better than the other ones?
I guess I could talk about Henri Cartier-Bresson and the decisive moment. The moment the shutter is clicked. It captures a moment that makes the viewer wonder, it provokes thought and intrigue and draws the person in. Who are these people in the photograph? Why is he doing a backflip? Where are they? (certainly not WA) What does the body language of the men standing on the jetty say? Are they jealous of his skill? Is it at a party, or is it just a few friends hanging out? Why is the girl on the jetty not paying any attention? Is it a failed show-off attempt?
However, you must also question the composition the photographer has chosen. Did the photographer happen to be in the right place at the right time or was it set up? Are those people placed there and told to show such a standoffish body language ? Is the girl not meant to care?
Honestly with this one it’s all bit of a mix. I knew the guys were jumping off there so I stood up on the railing to gain a more interesting vantage point.I used the bold lines and repetition of the decking and railing to frame the subject (roughly knowing where he would be jumping). I did just happen to be there right place, right time and the rest all came together. Benni did a great backflip and the other guys looked on. You don’t think about all those other details and questions that I asked before until you see the negative and start wondering about it. This was one of those images that you know is great the second you click the shutter.