Robin Michals | COMD 1340 Photography 1 DO97

Author: Emily Chen

Midterm Critique- Emily Chen

Emily Chen HW 1

The photograph that stood out to me the most was “Bored” by the photographer Thomas Holton. This photograph was part of a series called “The Lams of Ludlow Street” which documents the lives of The Lams, a Chinese family living in NYC Chinatown. Thomas Holton takes a huge step and actually follows the Lams for many years and becomes part of their family. Throughout the series, we can see that all five have a different ambiance to them. Although I feel as if all of the photographs taken in this series were extremely breathtaking, my favorite one by far has to be “Bored” in the second portion. There is so much feeling in this one photo even if there seems as if there’s nothing going on. Cindy, the daughter of Shirley, seems to be almost emotionless but you can tell her eyes tell us so much more. The grandma in the background brings the photograph together because she’s staring at Cindy almost in concern. This picture makes me feel a little sad because the look on grandmas face almost convinces me that Cindy might be upset or feeling lost. After going through the split-up of their family it might be a possibility that she might have been feeling something negative. As an Asian American, I understand that family is very important in Chinese culture and I can only imagine what it must feel like to have your family split up like that.

In terms of elements used in the photograph, there many a few elements that stand out the most. These elements are dominant eye, figure to ground, and rule of thirds. The element that stood out to me the moment I saw this photograph was dominant eye. The daughter’s eye is right in the center of the photo, which makes the viewers focus on her immediately. Her eye attracts you to the photograph because she’s staring right at you. The next element that stood out to me was figure to ground. There was a big contrast between the young girl in the front focus compared to the grandma in the background. Both subjects are giving off a completely different emotion. This allows the viewer to think beyond what we’re seeing. This encourages viewers to want to understand the bigger picture. Lastly, the use of rule of thirds is present in this photo. The grandma is on the left side of the picture which is at an intersection of the photograph. This gives us a compelling look as we are encouraged to explore the image completely. All of these elements bring the picture together to make us want to learn more about the subjects.

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