Monday, 8 January 2007

Photography: The big secret (Part 1)

banksy graffitti
This is a small bit of Banksy graffitti I stumbled across behind Limestreet train station in Liverpool city centre. To my suprise this deceptively simple photograph gives away two of the great secrets of photography. It also illustrates a useful photographic tool you should use carefuly.

The first 'secreto' is self explanatory don't forget about composition before you push that shutter release button. The second secret is that sometimes a bit of visual humour in an image goes a very long way.

The far more interesting point that this illustrates is how words in images have an effect. They can anchor an image very solidly in a fixed context. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on how it is approached. It can get a point across with great force or it can leave the viewer with no room for their own interpretation. The latter result is of course very undesirable. My advice on this would be that it's worth handling words in images with care. Use them sparingly and make sure you know why you are using them.


eolake said...

You are very right about both points.

I like how the grafitti is eaten at both ends.

bazu said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog- I am a frustrated photographer who now channels that through a) teaching the history of art and photography and b) obsessively photographing food and other things for my blog.

I look forward to reading and learning from your blog. This image made me laugh and I think you are right about the power of words and images combined. My students are always amazed to see medieval and renaissance paintings with words on them- we are so trained to see the two realms seperately.