Homework 1: Dawoud Bey

Bowman, Kenyasoweta
GRA 2330 – Digital Photography
Professor Michals
February 8, 2010Photograph used: Dawoud Bey’s “A Boy in Front of Loews 125th Street, 1976”

1. What type of photograph is it? This appears to be a “candid” photograph.
2. What can you tell (or guess) about the photographer’s intention. I think the photographer wanted to show the maturity and style of the young man who seems wiser beyond his years.
3. What emphasis has the photographer created and how has that been done? The photographer places an emphasis on the backdrop of the theater entrance by using high contrast for the background and full scale for tone for the foreground.
4. Do technical matters help or hinder the image? I think technical matters aid in the message of the image. The photographer uses soft focus for the background to draw attention to importance of his subject, which is the child in this case. He also toys with deep space to show the distance between the child and the theater.
5. Are graphic elements important, such as tone, line, or perspective? Yes they are. The contrast in tone between the subject and its background creates a perspective. The diagonal line of the subject shows his age which is recognized by his juxtaposition to the barricade he is standing next to.
6. What else does the photograph reveal besides what is immediately evident? I think the photographer reveals the child’s youth by how his right leg is perched to supported his small stature, his clothing and demeanor however, alludes to an older individual.
7. What emotional or physical impact does the photograph have? This photograph makes me smile because I grew up around people with his mentality and outlook on life. There’s a sense of familiarity here.
8. How does this photograph relate to others made by the same photographer? This photograph shows everyday people in a dramatic fashion by letting their environment tell their story.

1 Comment

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One Response to Homework 1: Dawoud Bey

  1. You have a good overall understanding of Bey’s intention. It is a good observation that the theater entrance area of the photo is high contrast while the subject himself is shot with a full scale of tones. I find your analysis of the subject’s pose very interesting. I had never thought of the gesture as an indication of youth before. I think you are right. The leg really does have an awkwardness, like a colt or something. I had always just seen how he wrapped himself around the barricade as a metaphor for dealing with barriers/obstacles.

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