Monday, June 22, 2009

Critique: The internal need to make a photograph.

Over the past few years I have met some really interesting photographers. Some have become friends, close friends, while others remain nothing more than just professional acquaintances. From time to time when I check up on some of the photographers I am networked with, I fine an image or two that I find compelling. One photograph in particular is featured below. John Balathunis, a photographer I studied photography and art with while in school, made this photograph. There are a few reasons why this photograph is being featured. The number one reason I wanted to showcase  this photograph is because when John and I spoke about this image he had told me that  “This guy came up to this trash can that I was sitting near and just started eating food he found in it, and I had John Balathunis imageto get a shot of him.” John felt an internal need to make a photograph of this man. In retrospect, the man in this photograph had  internal need to approach a trash can to search for a meal. He, like John is faced with an  internal force driving him to do what he needs to survive. There are dozens of reasons why photographers are compelled to make photographs. Being able to understand that you have an internal need to make photographs makes you consciously aware that what you are doing means something to you. This internal need allows you to be able to defend your photographs and the reasons why you have made them. The second reason that I felt this image should be featured is, well, because this person is a face that I see daily. I have passed this man on the streets of Northampton at least a dozen times. The last time I had seen him, he was lounging on the grass merely 10 feet from where John made this photograph. He was spread out on the grass enjoying the warmth of the sun and watching the people pass by. I have often thought about making a photograph of him. However, every time he has seen me with my camera, he gives me a very sad expression, as if making a photograph of him would make him feel worse about himself for being in the condition he is in. I think John made a fabulous choice in making this photograph. Both the photographer and the subject matter exhibited an internal to do what compels them to do. In the 1/125 of a second it took John to make this photograph, both the photographer and the subject formed a relationship. This makes a photograph my dynamic and gives the view a sense of the human condition.

Thank you John for allowing me to share your photograph.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

WHAT????????? LOL