Blog #53 Extreme [Extremity] Photography Part 1
According to Cig Harvey, pictures can work well when they are about things rather than of things. Everyone can easily relate to photos of people that include all of most of the subject. However, images can be composed such that the subject is a body part such as hands or feet [shoes]. When the photographer intentionally omits information from an image, the result can be interesting or conceptual, in other words something if left to the imagination.
Photos of hands or feet allow the viewer to place themselves in the image, so to speak, and to generalise the scene to their own experience. In this blog post, Part 1 will be all about hands. The next blog post, Part 2 will be all about shoes and I will share my attempt to tell a story only through shoes.
Photographer Jason Eskenazi said it well.
“As a photographer if your photos are too obvious then you’re missing the point. Photos are about mystery, about not knowing, about dreams, and the more you know about that—then you can recognize them on the street.”
My aim here is to inspire you to get off your beaten path, so to speak. If you are not used to making images of this type, go make 36 to experience a fresh perspective or specific type of image. Why 36? Because that’s how many frames you get in a 35mm roll of film! Try to make the viewer pause and have to work for the meaning in the image.
Try this approach to add a fresh perspective to your work. One caveat. Be patient. Sometimes you need to let these types of images come to you and reveal themselves. Just hands hands are notoriously one of the most difficult things to draw or paint, these are difficult images to fish for as well, but are well worth the effort in the long run. The point here is to be open to all perspectives, angles, and possibilities. Incorporate hands into your project, or the story that are are working on.
Remember, the light is always right.