Eugene Richards has a very unique way of expressing a story through a photograph. The majority of his collections are depressing and inspiring. The photograph that was striking to me is in the “Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue” collection. It’s a photograph a african american woman, who appears to be pregnant. She is holding a cigarette and blowing smoke into the air. The setting is an apartment, that seems to be very plain and dull. It takes place in the livingroom of her apartment. This woman is definitely living in poverty and on drugs. The mood is disappointing and depressing. The key elements of the photo tells the story for you. You can come up with all of these scenarios based on how the photo was taken. This photo makes me look at it as a story, and beginning to wonder why she would increase the complications of her pregnancy. Or wouldn’t she want to deliver a healthy baby. Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue
Eugene uses balance very well in this photograph. Everything seems to be in the right place. On both sides of the picture there are things to observe. The woman is more dominant because she’s upfront. This photo is in black and white, creating the gloomy feeling. There is some contrast of light and dark. There is so much emotion in this photograph. Her body structure shows emotion, it shows how she feels about her actions. She looks as if she doesn’t think she’s hurting herself or her baby with the cigarette. The darker spots of the picture makes it look dramatic. Which is incredible because the scene appears to be dramatic. Theres also some shadows making things look more realistic. It almost feels like your sitting in the living room with the woman. This is why Eugene’s work is so emotional and inspiring.