Humans in the Abstract
So I thought I’d go with something a little abstract this week. If last week’s photo had a touch of Lee Friedlander’s America by Car about it, today’s touchstone is Stephen Shore. What I like about this image is that there are so many lines in the picture and yet none of them are really leading lines. Ie., lines that you’re told you should use to lead the viewer to the photo’s subject. The subject of this photo is essentially the abstract lines. However I’ve never really been a fan of abstract photography. It doesn’t speak to, or move me, or inspire me. It’s why I have a problem with so much ‘art photography’. It’s as if somewhere along the curatorial process it’s been decided that life and soul are not what photography’s about in terms of ‘art.’ Well then, as the great beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti once said, “Fuck Art, let’s dance.” (Actually, that would probably be a better quote one of my future Friday Photo dancefloor shots Ah, well. It’s out now.) But what stops this image being about the abstract lines of posts and poles and shadows is the two small couples to the right of the frame. Even though they’re in miniature we recognise their body language immediately, and understand them in very human terms. Without them this photo would get the Photographer’s Gallery (London) seal of approval. And I would absolutely hate that.
Technical details for the photography wonks:
Camera: Canon 5D MKIII
Lens: Canon 24mm 1.4
Shutter speed: 1/750