Thursday, September 17, 2009

on bad view and black white

After coming back from Hebron today i decided that it was time to leave the West Bank. Although there were a few candid images amongst the ones i took there, i had the feeling there could be more to get, but i just couldnt because of "bad view" ( i hereby declare these words my expression of the state, where one is not able to cope with the visual surrounding in a meaningfull way any longer). Bad view expresses itself in pictorial exotism, uninspired portraitism, and, the most central thing, not being involved with your subject matter. Being not close enough to your subjects will certainly result in mediocre images at best. And mediocre images are what i mainly produced today. Except for the attached image (and then some)

The image above shows a man waiting or his haircut, and Canadian mountains. It certainly would give a nice print, because it is full of details (like, what the barber smokes, the kind of cups he uses; also there is a little romance going on)

I think this is a thing that might befall one after awhile in rather unfamiliar environments; a similar thing happened to me a year ago in Bulgaria. In the West Bank the ever shouting boys do the rest ("no, i will not take your image now; ahh ok, i will, for the sake of getting rid of you....)

However, in Israel you have the chance to change laces within an hour; the contrast between the official territory of Israel and the West Bank is most striking. Therefore i hope that changing places will help me to get focussed again, and will bring me back into the game. I am certainly looking forward to take good images (whatever that is) of Palestinians and Life in Palestine again.

Second, i was browsing through some picture essays made in Palestine over the past 10 years. Andreas and i decided, that there is too much b/w work to be found in documentary photography. I mean i see times when using b/w is nearly necessary: e.g. when the color distracts from the things shown in the image and make it nearly unreadable. But i have the feeling that, more often than not, it is used to achieve a visual cliche that our seeing habits are used to already. The following image would never gain any attention if it was in color, but due to the tonal range i find it a decent b/w.

The image shows a girl starring out of the car, while a Truck is overtaking. Shot near the checkpoint which name i will hopefully remember at some point.

Thanks for your attention. Have a nice time ,



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frames is Florian Rainer's personal collection of photographs, photography related webtipps and writings. frames is focussing on documentary and artistic strategies in photography.

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