Interpretation of images

Started Oct 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
HansAlbert
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Re: Interpretation of images
In reply to absentaneous, Oct 31, 2012

answer to absentaneous, concerning the first photo in http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3286980

This analysis, though detailed, remains on only one level – the geometrical elements of the construction – and comes forth, accordingly, with an "idea behind the image" on that level: the "visual disturbance beween these elements".

That this idea is presented as "what the photographer actually saw" is my first point of criticism. The object to be analyzed is the photo, not the thoughts or the mental state of the photographer. How the photo can be read, abstracting even from its creator, is the domineering issue.

My second point of criticism is that for me there is no "visual disturbance" in the photo, rather clarity in the opposition of horizontal and vertical lines.

My third point is the most important. Where the proposed idea of the photo ends the true reading begins in the first place. What to make of these dominant geometrical lines? Sense must be added to sensibility, the omnipresent metaphorical way of our thinking needs nourishment, otherwise there is no satisfaction for the viewer's mind. What, then, is the subject of the photo?

In four of the five rectangles we see always one kid playing alone, whereas the one in the center, forming an obvious contrast, has three kids playing together. This firmly established tidy world with its strong horizontal and vertical lines, with its solid buildings has even prespecified rectangular boxes for the kids to play separately.  Additionally the young tree, the symbol of youth, is fenced in, thus mirroring this urban misrepresentation of a sheltered childhood. But there is hope: the three kids in the center disregard the provided separation. In this reading the subject of the photo is the child education to social isolation by the adult world.

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