Ten levels of intimacy that relate my camera to the world.
See the previous Blogs for Parts ONE and TWO
To understand myself on this beautiful planet, I photograph:
THE REMOTE WORLD OF SHADOWS AND SILHOUETTES.
AN OUTLINE OF ACTION
I have been forever attracted to photographing silhouettes. In one sense it’s a way to characterise us as a species. Like medieval Byzantine portraits, whose faces reflected nothing of the individual (as then the individual didn’t exist except as a reflection of their God) silhouettes are but an outline of a human performing an action or simply being, a being without facial identity or features.
The reading of the silhouetted character is dependent on the look of the context – streets, buildings, rooms and so on. Where the silhouette is located tells us a lot but not everything. It is in the gap between the silhouette and the everything where real interest is found.
A child, probably a little girl, speaks or offers to a cat, something. But why is she alone in a very large urban space, in front of the massive façade of an Italian Romanesque church? Is the cat a distraction from the cold, dead space she may well know, inside the dark chilly building? Is the playfulness a momentary escape from the po-faced priests?
THE UNITY OF FORM AND CONTENT
For me, the juxtaposition of the huge sunbathed stony façade and the delicate lines of the two living creatures join the form and the content of the photograph. They are somehow irredeemably merged in a momentary dance of life; a dance that does not favour the building.
The image, CHILD, CAT AND CHURCH was shot in the famous Tuscan Hill Town, San Gimignano. As so often, I used my Hasselblad and 80mm lens, then converted the negative into a scanned neg, edited in Photoshop, originally as a Tritone of greys and then reduced to a RGB JPEG for use in this blog.
Soon to announce 2 talks of about 2 hours each. The first will introduce a series of linked ideas about photography and photographing. It will not in the main be about technique, but about thinking visually. The second will introduce ideas when planning video documentary-making to change the world frame by frame. These two discussions will lead to workshops, but first they will introduce people to the nature of the what will follow in much greater detail, and I believe, be of interest themselves.
Random Media of LA is releasing worldwide, my last film, THIS GOOD EARTH on 19 April 2022.
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