Wednesday, January 30, 2008


silent, originally uploaded by nacoki.

This one is an old favorite of mine. Looking at this photo, I'm immediately reminded of Wong Kar-Wai's Fallen Angels, one of my all time favorite films. There's one scene with the lead actress shot in extreme wideangle, eating alone in a noodle shop. The camera is right in her face, tightly cropped, emphasizing her aloneness. For me, this photo exudes a similar feeling of coldness, trepidation, and isolation.

The slight blur and high contrast further obscures the figure's features. It's uncertain if she's huddling to escape a draft (that does look like a winter sweater), of if she's lowering her head in sorrow. What is she holding? Well, sometimes photos can play tricks on the viewer. According to the photographer, it's a harmonica! And suddenly the brows are transformed before our eyes to become furrowed. The mouth is blowing a tune. The eyes are closed in concentration.

Any way you look at it, the image is still an emotional one. Things like the framing (the one-thirds rule is not always king) and exposure just serve as icing on this cake.

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