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Where’s he coming from and how long has it taken him to arrive here? Where’s he going, and has he time left to get there? From the light can you tell? Has he a day ahead of him, or is he racing an oncoming night?
My camera can only seize the midpoint of an unknown tale. Even with all the power of my tools the still image blocks my ability to do more than shape your thoughts and emotions. Here is a peculiar and poignantly eloquent moment of a bicycling man in the light of an angular sun. An instant in time, arrested and acutely realized in an extraordinary setting with all the intensity that I can command.
But his story, like all stories, will pass through life’s complications until it’s resolved. I’m not sure that a photograph can ever resolve stories. And if it can’t – can it tell them at all? Or do photographers instead pump story ideas into your imagination machine?
Simply put, this image is theatrical, or cinematic, but I wonder if still photographs can ever be theater or film. Hmmm…..
Today's image kicked up a deep discussion on an important forum. There were allusions to the enhancements which I did to try to create a story. Here's what went into my process.
I recall standing at a Florentine street corner that was historically ornamented by stunning medieval v artists. I was wondering what I could bring to this place when I saw him coming down that hill to the left and I immediately began to take pictures... four, five, six. But the pedestrians packed my frame, each with their own stories to tell. So, I decided that I'd choose one of the images and use the others for parts later on to cover over the other people with doorways and fountain, and roadway. I don't work with a tripod, so I tried to stay as still in the location as possible and to take a number of shots.
Here above is the original of my bike rider. You can compare it to the final image above to see how I tell... not so much the man's... but my story in which he stars. Like any dramatist, I enhanced the palette, lighting, textures, angle, and emphasized the linear perspective to create the illusionist art that photographic story tellers do (whether in advertising, photojournalistic,or pure fictional imagery).
I'm pleased with my image and with the narrative it illustrates in my mind.