Continuing with my series of "Hey-I-Like-It-But-What-Do-I-Know?" I present this little piece of Americana (again taken in Disney World).
Theme parks, car culture, obesity, and burned flesh mixed in with some curious body language. It's repulsive I know--but do you like it? ;)
Again, please be honest.
Critiques | Translate
Darren (6823) 2005-09-09 23:46
I don't know quite how to rate this. I am kind of with you on the "Hey-I-Like-It-But-What-Do-I-Know?" thing. Compositionally, it is not overly strong, but I think you know that. I am pretty sure what I do like is how you are sort of making a comment (I think) of westerners and the typical summer vacationer; loud colors, weight issues, badly sunburnt. I wish they were wearing tackier hats.
I definitely see a Martin Parr influence here, and I am sure that is a big part of why I like it.
ElSato (824) 2005-09-09 23:48
Nice hidden camera work. The POV totally works. And yes, the various elements you mention (plus the baseball caps!), when mixed together, form a particularly American brew.
This image has a Martin Parr-ish element of voyeurism to it, but without the flash (I guess that would have given away your hiding spot sure, huh?). The amputations (hands chopped off, faces hidden) remind me a little of his work as well.
I think your present project succeeds well in this shot.
P.S. I am editing this comment just to note that I was still writing my Parr-referencing note when Darren posted his, so we both reached that particular conclusion independently.
Luko (13998) 2005-09-10 6:46
I will temper a few ideas in there : of course Parr comes to mind at first glance, even though i'm afraid Parr's work might be sometimes misunderstood for what it is not (I have no Parr-o-meter in my pocket, nor am I the bishop of the saint-Martin-on-the-Parr church, though I live in Parr-is... sorry bad pun... but I think I understood a few things that do not jump at anyone in Parr books once I visited his spring exhib).
One, apart from perhaps "Small world" where Parr shows no quarter to the tourists, Parr has a very tender look at his subjects. Even "the last resort" which is a emotionally moving exhib presents the characters as victims trying to get the best time out of poor lives. I can't find that in Alex' photo which works for me on the ironic -not empathic- theme.
Two, the most recent color flooding pics of Parr where purposely printed out with a photocopy machine that simplifies and ultrasaturates their color range. In fact these pictures are not aimed to be displayed as singles like you see it in books but like a puzzle of many pics. This is aimed to emphasize the profusion of details and saturated colors that consumerist societies provide (be it cakes, signs, haircuts or shoes). Well again Alex shot is clearly a single and almost not saturated enough.
Third, then might be a "small world" period shot? not really, "small world" had a knack on decisive moments which I can't find here.
Then should we say Alex was influenced by Parr? certainly yes, but by the dark side of the Parr or a mix of different Parr periods (Small world for the leisure theme, more recent work for the shades of red/orange/yellow ). In fact it reminds more Americana images of Costa Manos (check his work in www.Magnumphotos.com).
I know this is not the place for a Parr analysis but for Alex' photo critique. I would say it's a good try but don't forget to empathize with your subjects, I'm not really flabbergasted with some loose ends of the composition (upper part of the photo, sides also) and the moment chosen (what is the boy looking out for?).
I think something closer framed would have been better.
But hey, that is a SPECTACULAR sunburn! ;D
erdna (5711) 2005-09-10 11:52
Yes, why not? Let te truth be told. A good photo.
kensimage (8561) 2005-09-10 16:19
Alex, I agree with past comments--(i) the truth must be told, but (ii) it's not a great composition. Hits a little close to home about our culture, I guess. But that's part of what photography is about--to reveal--so the bottom line is, I do like it! Regards, Ken.
tongapup (0) 2005-09-11 19:02
I almost like it. But it's too messy for my taste -- would prefer a tighter crop -- like if you took a bit off the woman's cap and just cropped out the pavement on either side. That way their poses would become more prominent -- they remind me, oddly, of poses in old Italian paintings, especially hers.
I guess I would have to say that it's lacking a bit in focus for me. It doesn't hold my attention. Although I prefer it to the photo taken in line. The body language is indeed strange and kind of stagey-looking, and that is the most compelling thing about it. That and the glaring light.
Furachan (0) 2005-09-12 3:23
Let me say first of all that I "dig" this picture very much. Simply out, it POPS right our of the thumbnail and never quits beyond that. Design-wise the image is clearly superior, to be quite frank- it's advertising ready (trust me, I know about THAT!)
Read Luko's trope about Parr with interest: is the guy compassionate and Alex not? My take: Parr is NOT that compassionate (who are we kidding?) and you are certainly not uncaring (jusdging from past pics).
But look, much more than 70'S and 80'S Britain, America itself is gross and growing grosser every year - as Williams Carlos Williams put it "All the products of America go crazy", and you illustrate that perfectly.
The image itself is "what it is", or to borrow a Burroughs phrase - "naked lunch".
I vote "Yes",
Isabelle (9046) 2005-09-12 20:24
let me tell you, Alex, I love this shot.
somehow, if i had taken it myself, i would have felt i am a bad girl.
there is a touch of ridiculous in this shot, not gentle to humankind and not politically correct that i just love!
i would crop it tighter, really tight though, and definitely off with that inverted half 7 in the upper part of your image.
a bit trash (is it the good word?), part of me, i must admit, love it!
Elise_d (1943) 2005-09-29 6:11
This is something I like a lot Alex. Of course, with some inspiration of martin parr but also very personnal. This unique pov that keeps the subject's anonymous is a good choice, tight crop also. Thanks for sharing.
aralda (1240) 2005-11-04 15:34
This image looks like it's ready to go up on a building to get all kinds of reactions. There are a few strong and funny comments in the picture, in the right amount and mix.
I like your note about Americana at Disney and body language in this image, and am still thinking about your "It's repulsive I know" comment. I could have taken the same image thinking only that it was funny, and the result would have been the same visually -- how can that be?:)
The color in the image is also beautiful.
The crop of their car and of their arms is stunning, I think (same for the POV).
Goes into my favorites.
Were you staring at these two for a while before shooting your pic, or did it just happen?
prezntime (3946) 2007-10-24 19:19
Oh...Americans are repulsive are they?
I happen to burn quite a bit like this....I don't like cars, I have a truck. I'm not overweight, I just like food...alot. And those dumb baseball hats...they don't even have the Yankee's symbol.
Goes to show what you know.
- Copyright: alex felipe (RandomCameraGuy) (3071)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2005-08-31
- Categories: Daily Life, Transportation
- Camera: Canon 20D, 18-55mm/f3.5-5.6
- Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2005-09-09 22:23
- Favorites: 1 [view]