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80s photography- a reflection

so what ive learned is i need to look at more professional photography. the photos that ive looked at thus far are all so interesting and narratively signficant, that is, they all Say something AND are super interesting to look at. this photo, for example, found here.

this photo stands out to me mostly because of the contrast between the foreground and the background. in the foreground of the photo is this older woman, with an obviously serious disposition despite not really seeing her face, who is well dressed and manicured, who is matured and experienced and knows it. in the background, an abundance of graffiti, covering all the available wall space and even some of the door space, the aqueduct ad behind her; the contrast is so strong.

The lady’s placement behind the pole also really strengthens that one specific line running straight down the middle of the photo, creating two distinct halves that are, despite not mirroring each other, feel very balanced. this photo. these features are what create the storytelling of the photo, her stance, dead center, facing the camera but not oblivious to the chaos on the walls behind her. her thoughts obviously unhappy; there’s something in the city that she hard core doesn’t vibe with. this gives me vibes of isolation and disillusionment, life here isn’t what she thought it would be. or maybe its something completely different.

this next photo, although completely unrelated, is a super interesting contrast to the one above. (found it here!)

still people on a subway/public transport situation, but the exact opposite vibes. Everyone interested and smiling and together, there’s a sense of community emulating from this photograph. the perspective makes it feel much more snapshot-esque; the group of people looking through the window, sometimes cut out or off by the wall in between glass and window. this photo also feels a little more candid, the moment is more natural, just people heading home from a long day together, which contributes to the story nicely. the depth of this photo is sort of related to the perspective and is really variable, which contributes to the interest of the photograph. Where the subway walls are, its very shallow, but within the window the crowd of people extends much deeper and people are packed in, but not in a way that feels overwhelming. the lady in the top left of the photo, for example, is furthest away from the photographer, but her face isnt blurry or unnoticeable, her smile is clear as day.

and one more photo! (found here!)

this is a photo of Freddie Mercury on his last tour, and its such a Cool photo. I really like the burst of bright light on the left side of the photo, and its even cooler because Freddie’s body is kind of curled around the light; the angles match, which is super interesting. you can really feel the energy in this photo, how excited and hype Freddie is, and just how much fun he’s having performing and the energy he’s bringing. The perspective (backstage rather than from the audience) is also really neat and adds some authenticity to the energy and excitement of the photo; there’s no way he could have known there was a photo being taken. Freddie really is the center of attention in this photo, the background is very blank, forcing the eye to pay close attention to Freddie Mercury’s figure. Overall a really really cool photo. Story-wise, for the specific “this is freddie mercury at his last concert” you certainly need the context//background knowledge, but the energy and loving what you do is most certainly conveyed with only the photo.

live long & prosper -liz