Photograph Description – Michael Kenna – New York

Michael Kenna is an english photographer who was born in 1953. Michael Kenna is well known for his black-and-white, square-format landscapes, taken in locations all over the world. He has published more than 20 books of his photography and exhibited on four continents. In 2000, he received the prestigious award of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture. This photo or the photograph chosen was also taken in the year 2000 and was taken in Midtown New York. As a famous photographer in New York Michael developed an entire gallery of photos that include many pictures taken in New York. Photos that date all the way back from 1976 to 2007, just from New York. Most of Michael’s photos, if not all, use no color and use shades and tones of black and white to define the mood which seems to be displayed by him as a pleasant if not amazing view or photo of the city whether the photo may be taken above, below, or of the skyline of the city of New York. The feeling is left to the us as the audience, which is why there is no color, some may see his photos as dull due to the absence of color and some might see his photos as soothing, relaxing, or unreal because of the way the picture was taken, the angle and place. Michael says “I expect the viewer to be able to enter an image and react with the environment. I try to create “stage sets” for them to perform on”

The photograph chosen and taken by Michael uses specific elements and compositional principles to convey and/or show his skills. For starters Kenna uses Leading lines, which helps lead the eye of the observer because of the natural invisible lines, or in this case the line seen on the sidewalk down the street. Kenna also uses the Figure to Ground technique to help the eye of the observer to see the difference between the subject and background. Lastly Kenna uses a composition principle known as patterns and repetition as the reader can see the although the photo may seem out of focus there is a pattern of what seems to be headlights shinning from cars approaching. The patterns seem to help the eye become familiar or understand what the photo is of and is trying to say, not an illusion, but simply a moment captured in time with motion.





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One Response to Photograph Description – Michael Kenna – New York

  1. rmichals says:

    This photo is a great example of shallow depth of field which we will discuss at some length later in the semester. the perspective creates a strong sense of space. I am not sure if I would call the predominant lines leading lines as they lead off into space but not to the main subject of the photograph. the lights do make a lovely pattern in the distance.

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