November 07, 2006

Photo Feature I

As I am significantly lacking in the posting department, I've decided to implement a new feature. Whenever I feel inspired, I will select one of my favorite photographs (most likely from DeviantArt) and elaborate on why I feel so strongly about it. If you have ever gone to my DA photo gallery and looked through my selected favorites, you know they range from the ridiculously simple to the incredibly complex and from the pure and innocent to the (arguably) risque.

It wouldn't be much of a stretch to say I agonized over which photo I wanted to discuss first. After much inner debate, I decided on the rather haunting "Effect of the London blast."

Effect of the London Blast
(Follow the photo link and click the photo for an enlarged version)

Immediately after any kind of major news concerning violence, the focus is sternly fixed upon the aftermath. If you can ignore the argument over whether or not this focus is right or wrong, you have to admit most people want the gory details. The terrorist bombings in London was no different. The news media was practically flooded with photos of bloody and injured commuters and general transportation wreckage.

Sue Anna Joe, a 24 year old photographer, was in London the day of the bombing. Instead of shooting more of the carnage, she turned her camera to the window of a "shop" to capture a notice someone had taped to the glass.

Reflected in the glass are buildings of London that are unknown to me and probably to most people. One can make out the cross at the top of a steeple. Perhaps the photographer was hinting both that the destruction was caused by an extremist interpretation of religion and that some turn to religion during times of crisis.

Taped onto the glass is a simple note announcing the closure of "Albannach," which is presumably the name of the shop. The note also adds an apology for inconvenience. However, the apology is both in parentheses and a much smaller font. Is the author of the note truly sorry, or did he or she feel obligated to offer a token bit of kindness following the national tragedy?

I am not sure what to call the object along the bottom of the photo, but the circulating spikes make it appear menacing in this bluish tone. Similarly, the lamp seen just past the window's glass has spikes, adding to a generally unwelcoming and cold tone of the photo. Did the bombing create this sense of coldness, or did it just give it the opportunity to show itself?

All in all, it's a very interesting piece of photojournalism that would never be published in an actual newspaper. It provides some insight into the reactions of London residents, but it also generates a number of questions.

Most importantly of all, I like the photo. It's always possible I'm reading too much into certain aspects of it, but I still find it enchanting.

Posted by Randy at November 7, 2006 12:50 AM | TrackBack