Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee: Closed / Open

Returned to a Richmond, Indiana previously photographed location to discover any changes from the last visit.  While nothing is different, the visit did raise a couple of thoughts.

A traditional way of presenting a subject in a documentary manner is to confront the subject and produce an image that is head on, showing it entirely within it's setting.  Find such a photograph closed with a viewer left without a way to move beyond the presentation and question what lies outside the photograph.

While not quite head on, an example of this traditional style would be

Color, form and texture are all there giving a feeling of decay.  However the viewer is trapped within the image.  There is no way out of the scene.  It is a closed photograph.  It has become an exercise in composition and a record.  The viewer views and then moves on to the next.  Few, if any questions are raised.  

Another way of seeing would be to photograph so that the subject has room to breathe.  Step back, find a place to put the camera so that the subject can be shown within it's environment.  A place that allows a viewer to have an opportunity to move beyond the subject and question as to what lies beyond. 

There is still color, form and texture along with a feeling of decay.  However, now a viewer has the opportunity to move beyond the subject and be challenged by what lies beyond.  This is an open image.