The Punishment Chair

by Satyaprakash Pradeep

the punishment chair seeking critique satyaprakash pradeep

Gallery: Photography from 1995 - Present

Tags: seeking critique

Category: Studio

Exif Information:
Date Time Original : 2005-03-04 05:58:25
Orientation : 1
X Resolution : 240.000000
Y Resolution : 240.000000

Published: Friday 4th of March 2005 06:03:30 AM


Pradeep Satyaprakash
No longer is the renaissance digital. . . This portfolio is called "Digital Renaissance", but this will be the end of that. This is my foray back into film photography. But this time, using classic rangefinder cameras from the 1960s and 1970s. I took this photo while testing a newly fixed Canonet GIII-QL17 camera. It is difficult to go back to film after shooting digital for the past two years. First the cost - almost $0.42 per printed exposure. Second, the lack of feedback. That really kills me. Normally if I shot this in digital, I would use my histogram to decide exposure. With film, all I have is the click of the shutter and my imagination to provide for thoughts about my image. Third, the depth of field is not as before. With digital, I am used to have wide depth of field due to the smaller sensor sizes. But with a "full-framed" 35mm camera, and that too, a very small Canonet QL17 with a 40mm wide angle lens shot wide open in low light really brings back my lessons about depth of field. That is film. I am not sure if I love it anymore liked I used to. Or maybe I need to reacquaint myself to this old friend and lover. About the photograph. I was in an old dusty warehouse that is probably 40-50 years old. It is an old granite sawing and polishing factory that has been decommissioned for those purposes. This warehouse is open to the environment and over the years, all sorts of human detritus has accumulated on the inside of it. These objects, after being coverd with dust and dirt over time take on a different type of look. One that is both sad, barren, cold, austere, and elemental at the same time. So I was walking around testing my camera and finishing off this roll of film when this chair next to some cinder-blocks caught my eye. The chair is fairly small, so it looks like that something a child would use, but a child in a factory? The chair, the background, and the dirt floor all added to the sense of punishment or loss. As if someone who once sat on that chair was banished from society and human contact and would have to spend their time on this uncomfortable and bleak chair as atonement for their sins. Maybe it reminded me of all the chairs I have sat on as a child when I was being punished in school for doing something. The chair in the corner, the "time-out" chair, and the "dunce" chair. Looking at that chair reminded me of how we impose our values of right and wrong on something and other people, and we banish people to these punishment chairs as they come and interact with our lives. But why do we punish? What do we gain from that? What do we lose? Maybe this punishment chair is just a testament to what we lose when we try to punish others into our own world views and experiences. Maybe this punishment chair is our chair. Maybe my chair. My punishment chair.

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