Thomas Holton — The Lams of Ludlow Street

Bathroom Scene.


1.  This photo was intended to be shown in a gallery.  It was taken to shine light on an area that is not well known or thought too much about.  People also have very different ideas on Chinatown, as mentioned on the website, people think of it as a place to go to get cheap sunglasses and Chinese food, but what a lot of people do not think about is of the people living there.

2.  I believe that the photographers intention was to have the viewer get the chance to see how a family unlike their own lives in their everyday life.  Holton also wanted to discover more of Chinatown himself since his grandparents had lived there.  All the objects in the photo are in focus so the view point is right in the center.  There are many objects in the picture and lots of colors.  When I first looked at the photo my eyes were drawn to the reds; the flowers in the tub, to the coat hangers, to the red gloves, and the symbol above the mirror.

3.  There is an extensive depth of field, and it does not seem like there is a window in their bathroom so I believe that there is probably an overhead light.  I think that he wanted to make the emphasis that all the objects were important.

4.  I do not think that there were any technical problems.  Though, the room seems very small so to capture all the elements he did have to get really close and I am sure there were a lot more interesting things that just did not fit in the focused field.

5.  There are important graphic elements in the photo, starting with the bath tub.  The top of it has a very definite line stretching from the left side of the piece well past the middle area.  This jumps up to the line the sink makes.  Above the bath tub there is a line in the wall, changing colors even, witch helps break up the picture and the objects.  There are many more lines in the sink, and the mirrors.  This helps lead the eyes in what would otherwise be a very jumbled photo.

6.  This is not your average bathroom.  Sure, they probably shower in there but it also seems to be where they wash their clothes.  There are MANY sponges; hanging up, in trays, in containers, etc.  The sink has some kind of an attachment on it…this is probably for cleaning the clothes.  What I do not understand is if the sectional soap dispenser is for shampoo, or laundry detergent.

7.  There is a lot going on.  I feel a sense if sadness because they have to do their laundry in the tub but at the same time there is a sense of peace.  Everything seems to have its place, and even with all the different objects you can tell everything is settled with love and has purpose.

8.  This photo simply shows another part of the Lams family.  They live a very different lifestyle from me so each photo I was able learn so much more about them.  I can tell that the photographer understands how important objects are.  Looking though the other collections on his website, I can tell that he wants to capture parts of society that are not that well known.  I think that this is important, it is always good to know how other people live and what their conditions are.  Many people in New York do not even have any idea how people in other parts of this country live.



–Athena Wyman Battalen

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One Response to Thomas Holton — The Lams of Ludlow Street

  1. You have a good grasp of the photographer’s intention. When I look at the photograph of the bathroom, I cannot help but compare it to the other photo of the same location which also has 4 people in it, three kids in the bathtub and the mom at the sink. I think that you are right that there is both a sense of order and purpose-the will and determination of the Lams- and a sense of claustrophobia-of the limitations of the Lams life in these photos.

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