Monday, February 12

Two Painters And A Blonde

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Can there be a cinematic quality to still photography? The evocative photographer John Sexton thinks so. He feels that the best works capture a flow. That they speak of more than an instant. He says, "Once you make the exposure, you're always looking backward in time."

Hmmmm.... Look at this image i've posted here of a scene from a grassy lane on Nantucket Island. Yeah, in a sense we're looking back upon it. But, as you look around inside the frame, don't you start to take the story farther? Look at the guy on the roof. Look at the model, not looking at the guy on the roof.

I'll tell you something. I'll be the faceless narrator. The painting on that easel puts the woman exactly in that scene, in a vibrant and seductive gown from the early 19th century.

Will you imagine where the storyline goes? And if you do, are you looking backward, or rolling the scene you've never seen... forward?

Yes, I've cranked up the drama of the setting. And yes, I've added a painterly quality to the moment of two painters imagining a beautiful woman somewhere else - in time. The painter at the easel is imagining her backward in history, the painter on the roof is also imagining a beautiful woman, but probably not backward, but forward in time.

And the woman? What is she imagining?

Is there a cinematic quality to this crisp, still, late fall moment in the gardens of a Nantucket Lane? Can you compose the screenplay in your mind?


mcmurma said...

"Can there be a cinematic quality to still photography?"

Interesting question. I suppose it certainly can, as some of the most interesting images always seem to transcend the single frame and invite the viewer to explore beyond its boundries. But to me the most attractive thing about photography is the singular power of composition. I'm still working on getting that right. When its strong enough the the image can exude a strength that seems to come from nowhere, lifting it out of the frame and causing it levitate, as if by magic. And if there are multiple subjects to be pondered within the composition, then yes, this can create a dialogue or interaction between them that defy that physics of the media. I suppose you could call that cinematic?

I have always thought more in terms of music, with the composition providing the beat and the subject matter the lyrical content. But maybe this is a growth issue. Given that I can ever learn to sing and dance at the same time.

Great foods for thought.


Andreas said...

Cinematic? Craig Tanner would call it story, right? You know what Tanner means by story. Is it the same as your cinematic quality? Probably not. It is more. Your's I mean.

Yes, there can. Probably not many of my images have it, probably none, but I am sure there can be something like that and I am sure this particular image of your's has it.

So has your image "Mel Hess & Associates" aka "Legal Parade". Not all of them have it, not even your's, but probably more of your's than of most other people's. One more reason to read "Understanding Comics", I guess :)

As an image, from a stylistic point of view, I am not sure if I like this one. It is strange. It has a very graphic quality and some would say it is a tad ... busy. This sky. Brooding blue on one side of the house, white on the other side.

This is comics again, aye? There are no panels, but who says that comics always have panels. Vampirella didn't need them.

OK, you have me, I like it. Still, there is something odd. A certain imbalance between the people. The painter on the roof is not as wholly integrated into the story as the other two. At least not for me.

He lacks color. But why? Can you tell me something about him?

Anonymous said...

A fantastic picture Ted, as always