Henri Cartier Bresson
The elements within the composition are clear and strong. The contrasting lines and repeated geometric shapes create a sense of movement through the image.
The cobbles and stones show slight corrosion and are interrupted by the cold, straight, lines of the stair rail.
The viewer is dragged into the picture and wants to explore the trail of the steps and then the eye moves to the moving figure and the angle of the road.
The intention of the image is to suggest and explore someone being spied upon, the eye from above will survey any movement below and take note of any sudden changes.
It is a clear, detailed composition with an interesting angled viewpoint.
The figure arouses suspicion and questions need answering. Who is the figure? Why is he in such a hurry? Who is chasing him? What is he rushing away from?
The image gives the impression it was taken a long time ago. One gets a feel of a city surrounding, with the image being captured early in the morning. There is an air of quiet and mystery. The figure and background relate well together. The photographer wants us to think about the figure and at the same time admire the linear and textured qualities of the street.
It is my view that the artist is making a comment in this work. One thinks about how people can be watching from afar and this feeling is created here.
We are forced to think about freedom and everything that that entails in everyday life. Our thoughts keep going back to the person on the bike. Will he escape from the surveillance?
Shizuka Yokomizo - Stranger
This image appears more obvious in the way the artist
exposes the figure to the night. It is contemporary and gives a clear impression of the living area in an oriental setting. The figure fits the surrounding, it does not look out of place.
The focus is on the young man. He appears calm and at the same time a little apprehensive about what comes next. His identity and purpose is questioned. There is a sense that the figure could be in danger if he stays in that position. What goes on behind him and is there anyone else nearby or is he alone?
The image was captured using zoom lens, the photographer being quite a distance away but still being noticed by the subject. The contrast between dark and light creates the impression that this figure is on a stage, is publicly being observed, is interacting with the photographer.
This image is different to the first as the figure is confronting his photographer, not escaping. There is a different mood set here which makes the viewer a little anxious, a little unsettled.
The closeness of the figure suggests the importance of the image.
The viewer is drawn in to interact with the figure in role. Obviously in drag but what is the meaning of the composition? Preparing for a night out, the curlers, make up, fingernails, all important props in the world of dragqueens.
The black and white makes the figure appear strong and in control unaffected by the straights on the streets. He is out to have fun. The photographer has captured an expression of sheer determination and rebellion and interacts well with the figure to convey the right mood.
Shizuka Yokomizo Stranger’s photograph is similar in the way the figures are engaging with the photographers. Nan Goldin’s is easier to understand with the strong shadows defining the hand and face in detail. This image is clearly presented and the closeness to the subject creates a feeling of caring and protectiveness.
Each of the three images are exciting and very well composed but very different in mood and meaning.