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Photo of the Week - #44 7/18/22


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1695837_aed1adb5d929e75cac547f10bed2d348.thumb.jpg.13a6a593d6aabaa2218dcb95a146ccb0.jpg

"You talkin' to me?"

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I am looking for some connections between the elements of the image, but can not find any. Is the woman a resident of the repeating apartment buildings? Why does she have two left hands?, and what is she holding, a golf club? Hodgepodge might be the term I would use to describe the image without some connecting theme. Or, maybe I am just not seeing it, and another commentator can enlighten me. Edited by Glenn McCreery
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I’m reading this as an image of the song the chanteuse is singing (that’s a microphone in her right hand), and I’m liking the image. I’m particularly appreciating how the bodice was placed so that the pattern of lights and darks is aligned both with the horizontal buildings and the vertical ones—in a sense, she’s appearing as someone who has grown from this housing project, not simply someone who's singing about it. The choice of a monochromatic treatment works beautifully to ensure that the repetition of geometrical motifs (light squares and rectangles for the apartment buildings moving into light circles and triangles for the bodice) isn’t confused by differences in color. Her dreamy expression also fits nicely with the superposed image, placing the buildings into the realm of dream- (or song-) scape. This could easily be a still from a fade in a music video.
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I like double exposures so that element of this struck a positive note with me straight away.

Echoing Leslie’s interpretation, I also appreciate the similarities in the woman’s top and the rows of windows in the buildings and agree that this sure seems to couple her with the buildings behind her- an urban housing project maybe?

 

A well put together and impactful image -whether composited or actually double exposed. I’d love to hear the photographers story behind it!

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You're right! I thought it was a broom, will have to re-evaluate now.

"That's a microphone in her right hand"

 

You are right. When I zoom in I can see it is her right hand holding the mic. From a distance it sure looked like a left hand holding the shaft of something unknown. If she is holding a mic, then Leslie's interpretation, although somewhat speculative, makes sense.

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It strikes me that a minor modification that might help people interpret the image would be to alter the opacity of the overlay just over the right hand to make the background image invisible there.

although somewhat speculative

I wouldn't say my interpretation is "somewhat speculative." I'd call it "completely speculative"--that's what makes it fun to do.

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My first impression was pretty much like @Glenn McCreery's (though I did spot the mic). It's an interesting double exposure and I think a lot of thought (and skill) went into its composition. For example, the way the singer's head 'leans' against the right block. But I struggled a bit to find a connection (or story) between the background photo and the superimposed singer.

 

This is my (entirely made up) story which gives the photo some meaning to me. The bottom of the photo starting from the right shows trees, shrubs and probably weeds. It looks uncultivated. To the left of the tower blocks, I see countryside stretching away into the distance. Right at the bottom left I see one or two older, smaller houses with A-shaped roofs and chimneys. This background stands in stark contrast to the 4 tower blocks and a couple of flat-roofed houses which look to be a relatively recent development. So what might the singer be singing about? I imagine (in the photo) something to do with the tower blocks.

 

Just on a purely technical point, the singer looks to have been 'brushed in' on a semi-transparent layer in post-processing. Personally, I would prefer to see a more even transparency and edges around, for example, singer's right shoulder, elbow and underarm. To a lesser extent, the same applies on the right too.

 

With my (made-up) story, I like the photo! Congrats to the photographer for the composition, creativity and PP skills!

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I’m reading this as an image of the song the chanteuse is singing (that’s a microphone in her right hand), and I’m liking the image. I’m particularly appreciating how the bodice was placed so that the pattern of lights and darks is aligned both with the horizontal buildings and the vertical ones—in a sense, she’s appearing as someone who has grown from this housing project, not simply someone who's singing about it. The choice of a monochromatic treatment works beautifully to ensure that the repetition of geometrical motifs (light squares and rectangles for the apartment buildings moving into light circles and triangles for the bodice) isn’t confused by differences in color. Her dreamy expression also fits nicely with the superposed image, placing the buildings into the realm of dream- (or song-) scape. This could easily be a still from a fade in a music video.

 

 

The connection between singer and building complex came to mind easily, but then I'm a big fan of Sergei Eisenstein's theories about film editing.

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It would be nice if the photographer had another frame of the performer with the same facial expression, but with more of the microphone head exposed. Regardless of whether or not the shooter is limited to using the existing image of the vocalist, doing more to contrast her arm and hand with the mic from the background, as Leslie suggested, would improve the picture. Another thing that would help our with our assessments in general would be to surround forum submissions with a medium gray background to prevent glare blindness from interfering with how we perceive the art that gets posted here.
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I agree that an easier determination of the microphone would help the photo. Also, I think more seamless compositing would help. My initial feeling was that I was seeing the cut-out of a woman superimposed on the scene. It was that cut-out feel that had primacy over whatever narrative or photographic reaction I might have. Her upper hand and arm, especially, have that cut-out look to them and that has a big influence on it feeling less montage-like, instead calling attention to itself as a composite. Once I get passed that, I am able more to enjoy the harmonies, contrasts and overall feel of the photo.

Another thing that would help our with our assessments in general would be to surround forum submissions with a medium gray background to prevent glare blindness from interfering with how we perceive the art that gets posted here.

Great point. Been after each administration to do that and I was especially vocal about it when the last big redesign was being developed. The problem is you've got business people or software experts designing the site instead of designers, artists, or photographers. When I come across photos I really like here, especially if I'm going to comment on them, I will often download them and view them in Photoshop with a more appropriate photo-viewing background. It can be a big help.

 

Robert, thanks for the Eisenstein mention. I've been wanting to devote some time to his films and you may have given me the push I needed.

"You talkin' to me?"

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Many thanks for all your comments and interest, especially Leslie who's "completely speculative" input was brilliant and so accurate. The two photos were taken at different locations with no thought of any connection. Took the photo of the high rise flats then a little while later at a nearby location the girl was street busking. Only sometime later looking at both did I see a possible connection of opposites (if that's possible), the cold hard social housing high rise flats and a young lady showing emotion and feeling busking. Leslie your comment "This could easily be a still from a fade in a music video" sums up my feelings for the posted image, thank you.
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Many thanks for all your comments and interest, especially Leslie who's "completely speculative" input was brilliant and so accurate. The two photos were taken at different locations with no thought of any connection. Took the photo of the high rise flats then a little while later at a nearby location the girl was street busking. Only sometime later looking at both did I see a possible connection of opposites (if that's possible), the cold hard social housing high rise flats and a young lady showing emotion and feeling busking. Leslie your comment "This could easily be a still from a fade in a music video" sums up my feelings for the posted image, thank you.

Picture of singer is very good on its own.

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