HW #1

The story I have chosen from the New York Times Lens Blog is called A Father, a Son, a Disease and a Camera. The title certainly pulls the viewer in and gives an understanding of what the story is about before looking through the photographs. I imagine that this story is about a bond between a father and a son in which one is dealing with a disease and the other is capturing the final days that they get to spend together through photography.

In the story there is a range of different photographs ranging from mainly close ups, a few long shots, portraits, and people gathered at locations. They all circle around the main subject which is the father that is dealing with the disease.

The sequence of these photographs follows in an order that tells the story clear from beginning, middle to end. The first photograph is a portrait of the father and the son which is a good representation of the title letting the viewer know who these people are.  In the second photo the photographer uses figure to ground that draws you to the main subject who is the father and you right away know that he is the one dealing with the disease. The same photo also shows the father in the water swimming which gives you a time period that it was early on when he had just developed his disease. As you look through the rest of the photographs you see him struggling at times more than others, but he mainly was always surrounded by friends and family. Throughout the middle you see him getting sicker to the point where they had padlocks on the door and caretakers taking care of him. Towards the end you see him lying on his deathbed struggling through his final days until the last photos where they show his ashes being poured into a hole. If the sequence of these photographs were in a different order it would be confusing for the viewer to understand and follow the story.

Some of the formal characteristics that are consistent in this photographers work are shadows, focus, contrast and perspective. The use of black and white in this series captures the emotions of the subject and lets it speak for itself. These characteristics helped the photographer tell the story by making the main subject stand out.

The photo from this series that I love is photo number 13. In this photo the father is at the hospital sitting in the waiting room near the window. The use of black and white in this particular photo makes the photograph seem more dramatic. This photo uses the rule of thirds where the subject is positioned on the right side of the grid. The lighting and shadow creates diagonal lines on the father and it also creates a repetitive pattern of lines on him as well. The son captured an emotional story through photography about his father and his days living with his disease.

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One Response to HW #1

  1. rmichals says:

    This story certainly has a clear beginning, middle and end though the photos are not strictly in chronological order. In the beginning the father has some independence-he swims and dances, in the middle he loses his autonomy having to be locked in and accompanied everywhere, and in the end he is very ill and dies.

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