August 03, 2007

What's in a Gaze?

This is one of those images that lingers in your head. Maybe that's a bit presumptuous. It lingers in mine. I shot it early in the trip but didn't get around to giving it some lovin' until today. I like the obstructed, less than perfect, quick but deep gaze. The filthy shirt's texture is a bonus. Subject-wise, it's more of the same in terms of children's curiosity but the lack of smiles and fleeting compositional codes give it make it resonate more than most of the others.

Every image we make is coded with meaning. Some are more obvious or cliche than others but then, it's a rare thing to make an image that's so original that new codes of meaning can be introduced. I was showing a friend recently that just burning and dodging an image can change it's feel and thus, it's meaning.

This is perhaps a bigger issue that I'm not prepared to explore right now but I enjoy the fact that a photograph, such a common thing, can wield such profundity. This one, maybe not so much, but I hope you catch my drift.

Make pictures that resonate.

August 02, 2007

Slowing Down

I got a lovely tour of the Dormans factory in Nairobi with this man. We wandered slowly through all the different areas of the facility and then we stumbled upon this little corner where the light was just magical. I first photographed another worker in the space but only when I simplified the composition and took advantage of the white coat did the shot really sing for me. I loved the soft dappled nature of the light.

I could have spent more time there to really explore the compositional possibilities but for whatever reason rushed through it. Sometimes I think my fast approach works against me and this was a case in point. It's not to say that I'm disappointed in the image because I'm not. Sometimes I just need to slow down my vision to match my actions. Would another minute of exploration really made a difference to anyone other than me? I doubt it. But that opportunity is gone now.

Make pictures.

August 01, 2007

Mundane Tanzania

I haven't made any mundane diptychs lately in favor of full-frame efforts. This afternoon I found myself in the Dar Es Salaam airport's domestic terminal and was struck by the art on the wall. One lone illustration of elephants being lit by florescent lights spoke to me. I shot it with a square crop in mind but not sure where I'd find it's compliment. A few minutes later I realized I was supposed to be in the International terminal and returned down and out to the correct hallway. There is was. I pushed some furniture out of the way to get the same distance on the new illustration and completed my pair.

I was worried that someone would scold me for taking pictures as it was just to the left of where the passport control desks were found. In The States at least, there is a strict no-photography rule in place in such locales. Happily, there's no such silliness here.

Make pictures.