Sunday, April 17, 2016

For Example...

This is a followon to the previous.

Context matters. Suppose I shot a monochrome blue frame. Literally one color across the whole frame. No change in value or saturation.

Pretty uninteresting, right?

What if I had two other pictures, really interesting subject matter. Riveting stuff. No obvious connection between them. In each frame there is a small but important object, which is blue. There are several important objects, most of them bigger, in each frame. Careful inspection reveals, however, that the blue objects are the same object in the two frames.

Now I place these two frames and the blue one on a page together, the two overtly interesting ones separated by the blue one, which happens to be the exact color of the interesting blue object. Let us say, indeed, that it is a macro shot of that blue object.

Is it still an uninteresting frame?

And I am here to tell ya, this kind of thing happens. I had a similar thing happen in a book I am editing now, with two frames show by two different people who don't know each other. Two completely different frames which are, nonetheless, deeply related to one another. Each one has some interest, each could be accused of being banal with some reason.

It is not too strong a statement to say that it was a mind-bending experience to place one next to the other.

Content, placed in context, is a whole lot more powerful than getting the balance of the thing and the other thing to look elegant.


  1. I would see this similar to writing a drama: There you create "bows of suspense", you have climaxes of tension but also parts which are more relaxing for the reader/viewer. If you keep the tension at eleven during the entire piece, I think it'll become pretty annoying (or even boring). Hence, the "connecting pictures", which may be boring on their own, make the entire thing fly.

    Best, Thomas

  2. I've seen pictures that are not interesting on their own, get a special meaning when in a collection with other photographs. It's like they tell a story all of a sudden, when before, they were just ok.