Research Paper on Photography

Posted on February 3, 2009

When I looked at this specific picture many words came into my head, but the first five words that I immediately thought of were rejection, poor, depression, sadness, and helpless. As I examined this photo further I began to ponder about what the story behind this specific picture was. This helped me think of three important questions that were; what happened to these people? How are they feeling? And most importantly, who are they?

When I look at this picture there are many things that I have to guess, but there are some things that I know for certain. Looking at this photograph I notice that there is a boy and a girl sitting somewhere, by the looks of it on some type of road or sidewalk. When I focus my attention on the boy I can tell that he’s holding up a sign that reads “Poverty Owning People…Can you spare us some change?” The boy is also wearing a hat with some type of bandana on underneath and his eyes are closed. The girl is sitting beside the boy and she’s squinting in the light, which obviously tells the viewer that this certain picture was taken in the morning or mid afternoon. She looks like she’s wearing a long sleeved sweater or wool shirt.

Standing in this picture myself I would see a busy street with a lot of traffic probably somewhere downtown where there are many stores and a lot of people that I could convey this message of mine, about being poor to. Downtown personally is a good choice because there are a lot of homeless and poor people that have to survive there so these people would probably fit in perfectly.

Taking a closer glance at the picture I learned that this picture was titled “The Poverty Owning People,” and was photographed by Anna Moonshrek which was taken in the year 2003. This picture’s actual dimensions were not given, but it was taken in color.

As I look at this picture I can see that the main focus of this picture is the boy and girl because of how they are placed and how the photograph was taken, which was close up. This photographer has used many techniques so it’s easy for the viewer to get a better perspective on what this picture could be about like the rule of thirds. This technique has been used well because it places the subjects eyes on 1/3 of the page which clearly makes the viewers attention travel around the picture since it’s not entirely in the centre.

These different techniques are a great asset in the outcome of photographs overall because they help the compositions acquire balance. When a picture is appropriately balanced a viewer knows that it is a good picture since there aren’t any blank areas and the viewers eyes travel around the entire picture and not just one part that really sticks out. For example in this picture my eyes travel to the brightest thing which is the piece of board the boy is holding. This piece of board has the message of “The Poverty Owning People” on it. Since there is a message, and it is a pretty strong one even though it doesn’t seem like it at first the viewers eyes eventually travel around the entire picture.

Color is also an important factor in the way a photographer wants the person’s eyes to travel. It’s usually pretty obvious that the brighter the colour the more attractive it is and that is usually what a viewer would focus on at first. Therefore if you have dull colors in your photograph they aren’t going to look as fabulous as you would want them too.

Another important technique when taking photographs is texture. Texture is important because usually a lot of people like to know what the picture would feel like. Many people are curious about what they’re looking at, so when the photographer makes the variety of textures seem more realistic usually it’s to the photographers own advantage. For instance texture can be spotted in this photograph on the boys hat which looks like it’s mesh because u can see through it, he’s also wearing a jacket which looks like it has some sort of rivets on it, and his skin also has a texture because when you look at it, it looks as if it was burned by the sun because it’s red. So one comes to the conclusion that he has been outside for a pretty long time. The girl is wearing pants that look like jeans and they look pretty worn out by the marks on them. This just goes to show that texture can also tell a lot about what is going on in a picture.

An additional technique a photographer uses is light. Light is also a vital principal in taking good photographs. You can see in this picture that the light is very bright because the subjects are sitting outside in the sun. Even though the light makes this picture look very bright and happy the moods of the people in the picture are the total opposite and they tell a totally different story.

Technique is one of the things that help a person understand a photograph. When most people look at a photograph they interpret what they see because most photographs don’t have captions that tell the viewer what’s going on. That is why we have to make an educated guess about what the photograph could be about, but to understand what the photograph could be a bout the viewer (me in this case) has to take a very good look at the specific item which is being viewed and than talk about their observations or what they figured out by doing so.

In this picture the boy and girl look like normal people but when you read the sign it tells you a totally different story about poverty and how they would like someone to give them some money so they can survive. It also shows me that since they have no money and they’re asking for it, they are depressed, and sad because of the look on their faces. I can also guess that they are helpless because no one seems to be helping them out which shows rejection. They have obviously been rejected from someone, otherwise why would they be asking for money on the street.

These educated guesses are my own opinion, the story about this photograph could be totally different but that is what I thought of when I saw this picture. The photographer could have created this image to portray to the society that we should be thankful for what we have so we don’t end up in a situation like this. She could be a journalist or she could be doing a project on poverty. Also since “The Poverty Owning People” sounds like an organization she could be trying to raise money for it.

This photograph like every photograph has its own uniqueness and that’s what makes it so different from others. The positioning, the content and view make it a really good piece of photography and that’s mainly why I decided to chose it. It also really attracted my attention because the color co-ordination was very bright and crisp. This picture has a lot of potential because whenever you look at you see a different story about what this photograph could be about. I really liked it since it expressed not only one opinion but many variations of different prospects just waiting to be found. It wasn’t spectacular like many other pieces but it was still pretty good.

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