Photographic Art

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his is a picture cut from the newspaper. It depicts Pakistanis protesting American bombing of Afghanistan (10-12-01) after the WTC disaster. This is perhaps the best photo (from an artistic standpoint) that I have ever seen in a newspaper. It is reminiscent (to me) of Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" ... one of my favorite paintings.

Pakistani protesters - 76kb

There are excellent groupings, overall movement to the left, lots of emotion ... and ... the colors have been unified with an overall greenish tint. This is what you would try to do in an oil painting as indicated in the previous section. With a modern graphics program this is easily accomplished. Now, if you could just crop it and "paint" out the picture large scale ... hmmmm ... wait ... you can do exactly that. But it would be rather expensive and most photos aren't worth it.

They aren't worth such a bother because in general it is difficult or impossible to take a picture with the correct body positions (parallels and perpendiculars) to lend it the status of true art. Here, we have so many bodies that it is difficult NOT to see the parallels and perpendiculars ... the "Rubens/Gericault/Raphael multi-body effect". Not so many as to lose the distinction of each body but enough to insure a good statistical probability of getting those necessary perps and paras.

You could "stage" such a picture but this has been done and it looks stilted and wooden ... every time. It is the artist who gives a work spontaneity while only real emotions give the photograph the same thing.

My congratulations to the photographer (Jerome Delay?) for his excellent eye.


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