Published: Thursday 20th of September 2007 01:02:11 PM
John, I am reminded of a time long ago when I was watching a documentary television program about life in New Guinea. Four people (natives) were sitting in a thatched roof hut having dinner on a cloth table mat laid out on the dirt floor, a woman, her husband and two small children. They were not speaking English and their conversation was translated into english in subtitles. It went something like this - wife to husband - When are you going to talk to the man about fixing the roof? It has been in need of repair for weeks now and it is going to rain soon.- I about fell out of my chair laughing. Not at them but at myself. Their spoken language was so beautiful and exotic and yet their conversation was the same that could have taken place in millions of homes, including mine. From that day forward, whenever I hear a conversation in a foreign language (foreign to me) I am reminded of that incident and I remind myself that while I might like to think they are talking about something exotic, in actuality it is probably something mundane. So while Carlos or Rasmus or Glenwood have provided a romantic spin to the story, Stephie might just be wondering if she has put down enough pots and pans so that tonights rain is not going to ruin her nice floor. - Maybe I should move that larger pot a little to the left.- Such is the power of expression, imagination and not knowing the language. By the way, it is a nice photograph of an intriguing woman. Best regards David
Thank you for your poetry Glenwood. It touches me as deeply as it does my model. She's French .. she will enjoy it particularly in his case ..
A pensive beauty... John, One of the remarkable abilities that you have is to know when to pull back, and let the subject be themselves. Or, at moments like this, to just be. Looking at this image I am again reminded of the New Realism movement of French cinema of the 60's and 70's; this image is more a frame separated from the body and seen in isolation, allowing the viewer to create their own story line: She is sitting in a cafe, late at night, alone, having walked away from an argument with her boyfriend. She absentmindedly draws on yet another cigarette, lost in the thoughts about a relationship that lasted far too long, and ended far too quickly. Is this what was actually occuring when this moment was captured? Does it matter? For a great artist, and a great actress, does not reveal all, and allows the viewer to enter the story to complete it. Very well done to you both. With respect, Glenwood
Nice portrait Nice portrait. She seems relaxed and has something in mind. Cheers. Yves P. (http://imagesyves.net).
One photo, and so many different interpretations of it. I'd say that's what characterizes a good photo John, the possibility to see different sides and depths of the same image. It's a good portrait, that we agree on :)
A well working crop or comp and nice B&W tones. I like the way she look, to me it says "leave me alone" or maybe "I don't give a f**k". A good model and a good photo with lots of personality.
No. I don't agree with the Rasmus interpretation. Someone asked her a question about something. Something important or at least something that she cares in this moment. Then, her answer shouldn't be a minor issue, in spite that she looks relaxed she is thinking deep enough, she is searching carefully the right words to express her thoughts in the most accurate way possible because words are important for this woman, important and powerful. About technical aspects of this image? Who cares?
OK John,I don't say to Rasmus "you're wrong!", he is right. I only say that I don't agree because my interpretation is different. I am trying to read what the image is suggesting me, and for sure the real conditions at the moment of the shot should be different. You know, technically a photograph is just light on a paper, a movie is light on a fabric, as a book is just ink on a paper, but if I say to you "photography!", "movie!" or "book!" you never think on that way. Because the real meaning of a photo or a movie or a book is given by it ability to tell us a credible -not necessarily true- story, transmitting feelings and emotions, sparking new questions, moving and touching untamed dark corners inside of the people. When I watch a photo my whole person is involved, not only my eyes and my brain. Then -as Glenwood is proving with a quite different interpretation from the mine- each one of us will have a particular point of view with the following own "reading of the message". So, that is the most marvelous miracle of photography, freedom of thinking and expression.
Wonderfully put Carlo, thank you ... and then of course there is the author's intepretation and, most important of all ... the model's .... :-)
Fantastic, John. Alberto
Excellent expression and lighting.
i don't get very well what the leash is for... but the look of S is perfect once again...
Oh yes John! Of course there is the photographer interpretation, but you take the photo, you post it then I can see it. "Je ne documente jamais; je donne une interpretation", dit Andre Kertesz, et je suis d'accord avec Andre. The image is expressing your interpretation, the image IS.-
Better than Laetitia... John, Many, many years ago I remembered Bridgett Bardot being selected as the personification of "Marianne"; her buxom fiqure, and her free spirit, seemed to capture the heady, adventuresome 60's and 70's. I loved her. Later, Catherine Deneuve was chosen to be the embodiment of the French Spirit; she was classically elegant and refined, the perfect standard bearer of conservative wealth and success in the 80's and 90's. I loved her. Later we had Laetitia, and I hated her, and saw that she was perfect for the "take-no-risks" New Millenium: Vapid eye-candy that would not challange; or threaten; or inspire. I propose that Stephie is the true "Marianne", for she is French in every fiber of her being: Beautiful, but with brains. Fun-loving, yet aware of the dark shades of being. And young enough to make the soul leap at the sight of her; yet mature enough to know love, having tasted it's sweetness and bitterness. Stephie. "Viva la France!" Glenwood And to reply to David's comments which follows: David, The beauty of art is that it does indeed only exist in the eye, and mind, of the beholder. I see one of De Kooning's series of paintings done in the 50's with women as the main theme, and I am drawn into the immediacy of the process, the tearing apart of the artist's psyche and its reassembly into the universal femininity. Someone else looks at the same painting and says 'My 5-year old can paint better than that!" I look at the images created by John and Stephie, and I see a woman, not classically beautiful, but possessing a charismatic beauty that has been shaped by life lived full, and knowing the pains and joys of being alive. Others see pots and pans. Some say "Toe-matt-toe", some say "Toe-may-toe". Glenwood
Many thanks Carlo, but thanks to Rasmus too .. he means well despite his voracious vocabulary which I don't think is shared by the model .. ha ha! Indeed this is a thoughtful and expressive subject which incites me to take many portraits of her, but she does weigh heavily on her thoughts even if the words come more easy. I always find that a cigarette pause is an interesting moment during which to photograph a model. Inevitably, a break from posing is a precious, private interval during which thoughts must race through the mind, aided by the rush of nicotine. This is just such a moment ..
Another look at Stephie ..