Contradictory Messages in a Photograph

Again an image that I’ve had for a long time, shot back in the days when I sometimes used a very long telephoto lens, which I now never do. The man in the picture had seemed a little drunk and stood for a long time looking at nothing. I wanted the picture to have elements that showed his indecision and the awkwardness he had with his body, which I think the picture now applies where as it didn’t before it was heavily post processed. I also was after a feeling of isolation /aloneness/ melancholy, which I thought I had achieved.

Having said that, a friend to whom I just showed the picture doesn’t see any of that. Her take on the picture is positive, which proves the point that people always bring their own meaning to a photograph, and that no matter how good you think yourself at controlling a photographs meaning, people will always do and think what- ever they like – which makes it so much harder and more interesting to try and exert some sort of control over the meaning. I guess when you can do that then the picture really does become art.

As an aside, I have a picture I shot that won a prize. At the gallery where it was displayed I was standing behind two people who were discussing it. One said to the other “it’s so depressing” (which was what I intended) and the other said “really, I see so much hope in it”.

I guess it was because of the contradictions that it won.

300mm, f5.6, 1/500sec, ISO200


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