For me photography is where simple images provide strong meanings, bold messages and dig deep into its roots roots. Of course this depends on the type of photograph, subject, location and many other aspects. Though an image which has a specific connotation, engages the audience and makes them think is something really quite special.
Stretching the simplicity is key in the making. You see a photograph has to perpetuate messages without text, thus reinforcing the quote “Show don’t tell”. Therefore the power which an image holds is ecstatic in the way its been taken. The small embellishments, such as; objects in the frame, certain subjects in the foreground, shutter speed, direct/indirect mode of address and several other adjustments are what make the roots identifiable.
Researching professional Photographers, I came across some astounding galleries, which definitely inspired me and made me curious, think and wonder about the images.
Amy Helene Johansson is an award winning photojournalist whom has exquisite photographs with such powerful connotations. Her website can be found here. The portrait above is called ‘Unsafe journey’. As soon as I discovered Amy’s website, I was stunned with the amount of impeccable photography with such meaning and beautiful composition she had taken. I couldn’t stop browsing through her website, filled with endless talent and was glued to the screen due to its natural and emotive capture of such issues around the world, especially India.
The photograph above deeply made me wonder. I immediately assumed it was located in India, due to the Indian women as well as the fast train. Being shot from a high angle is an extremely powerful way of denoting the ambiguous issues of who controls power; lenient towards the issues of poverty. But also the busy-ness of India, highlighting how she’s located in a small populated village. Of course the train provides a signifier of motion, speed, rush and crowds, relating to her cultural roots. The ‘motion’ is reinforced by the slower shutter speed, beautifully creating a fast motion rapid effect. To an extent, the photograph genuinely perceives to have been taken from another passenger’s direct point of view, who is maybe seating above the train (which is often in India). Thus, giving us a taste of the Indian culture, streets, atmosphere and ambience.
I absolutely love how the subject is framed, sitting lonely in the sharp absolute centre, justifying space. Less space. No space.
So simply shown yet so strong in its implications, where my thoughts question her journey, her lifestyle, her personality. Direct mode of address, strongly demonstrates a soft connection between the subject and the beholder. We begin to grasp her emotion, appreciate her hard-work having a feeling she’s either travelling to work or already at work.
Barefoot. Directly relating to her poorness, this idea of the hard labour, low income and poor lifestyle.
From this one image, there is vast to say, its meaning, messages, memories, journey, denotations, everything is structured and vigorously bold. Its amazing how one photograph can tells a real story, truly taking us on an emotional journey.
That right there is a powerful photograph, a strong photographer and an inspiring artist to me. Simply, mesmorising.
Amy Helene Johansson’s Website: http://www.amyjohansson.com/
Images are taken as part of a University module and is just for inspiration and research. No Copyright intended.