Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Part 7: el perro triste

Part 1: the wall
Part 2: sounds of silence
Part 3: canyon at sunset
Part 4: Untitled #37
Part 5: somber
Part 6: open doors

I would never enter this photo in a fair, or in the BCC judging nights. I don't think it would score well or win any ribbons. I can hear the judges comments:
  • The light is blown out; you've lost the detail and because it's so bright, it overpowers the rest of the image.
  • When photographing pets, its important to get their faces, especially their eyes.
  • You've left no room for the dog to move around. I'd crop it differently.
  • The image should be flipped so the eye is led in from the left instead of the right.
  • You should have included the dog's shadow.
  • I'd photoshop out the laundry, and maybe the laundry lines. They don't add to the image.
I would respectfully and quietly disagree with all those observations. Not that the judges are wrong with their observations. Competitions are looking for certain kinds of images and this image doesn't fit into those categories. It's a personally significant image, but not universally beautiful. In my search for simplicity, in my life and in my photography, I've made conscious efforts to ensure that every element in a photo (and my life) is there on purpose and for a reason. All the elements in this image, in my opinion, add to the ambiance. I'm trying to create a feeling of being trapped, cramped, trapped, secluded, trapped.

There's no space for the dog to move in this image. The empty part of the patio is overwhelmed by the immensity of the wall, and crowded by the washer. Further, the dog is facing the wall, limiting his potential movement. He's not even looking at one of his bowls; he seems to be looking at the space between the bowls. The bare bulb creates harsh light, despite the warmth of the walls. The reds of the walls and the gold of the dog and the water bowl are overpowered by the blinding white light. Since lights wouldn't be turned on during the day, this must be at night, making me wonder if the light stays on all night. Does this poor dog ever get a break?

The laundry line, while creating an interesting element, leads my eye right out of the frame. Is there more space to the right? I don't  know. Maybe the wall is right there, just out of frame, which would make the scene even more uncomfortable. This photo works because it's a slice of life, a brief moment. It captures something viewers recognize and with which they can empathize.

Lastly, this reminds of an interesting time in my life. The back story isn't important to the power of the image, but it's important for me and my memory.


Post a Comment