http://www.thomasholton.com/ The Lams of Ludlow Street
Photographer – Thomas Holton
Photograph – The Lams of Ludlow Street
This image is one of the many photographs Thomas Holton has taken in his selection of “The Lams of Ludlow Street”. The series of photographs in “The Lams of Ludlow Street” consists photos of how the Lams live their lives as a Chinese family in one of the most crowded areas of New York City’s Chinatown. Thomas is also half-Chinese himself but never felt like he had a connection in Chinatown, feeling like just another foreigner roaming Chinatown. Only a few of his photographs are taken in black and white, while the rest are in color. I feel that this specific black and white photograph screams out emotion and meaning. The Lams in the photography looks so happy while taking this picture in their small cramped up apartment. It gives off an idea of what it is like to live in Chinatown. It might not be big and roomy, but its livable and can be enjoyed. No matter how hard the struggle is for the Lams living in Chinatown they make the best of it and enjoy life.
Thomas Holton choose black and white over color for this photograph to bring out the focus of the picture which is the family in the center of the photo. It was taken horizontally to show more of the environment of the apartment. The black and white makes the photograph more calm and center focused. The surrounding of the photo is loud and noisy and cause distractions from the wedding photo, hanged jackets, and even the Hello Kitty blanket. Black and white can easily cancel out all that noise by using the different shades of black and white in the photo and lean the focus towards the center were the Lams are.
You describe the mood of Holton’s photo well. What is important here is the feeling of togetherness among the family members. the composition is secondary.