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Old 11-22-2004, 08:39 PM
Luko Luko is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,969
Default Re: cropped heads

Yes indeed Parr looooves his annular macro flash, used with a slight magenta cast that gives britishers that either gringo sunburnt or wino style skin tone (see “Brighton, the Last Resort” for instance)… if you remember his previous portraits and bold compositions, you might suppose something has suddenly gone bananas in his brains (other masterpieces such as hilarious “Boring Postcards” or “self portraits round the world” are also hints of the bats flying in his belfry, if you ask me…) .

I do think this is a kind of photographic message that Parr sends us : the guy has long ago thrown the usual aesthetics in the dustbin and is now sitting on the lid… Parr uses people like things to set up a crusade against bad taste and/or silliness and wishes to use the same weapons… next step is Parr dressed like Jango Edwards, I believe. Unfortunately he has lost a bit of my support, and got bored a little after “Boring Postcards” (perhaps was it his plan?) though I still think that “Small world” is one of the best and most hilarious photobooks ever made.

It seems that Parr wants to show the stupid part and the aesthetics that comes with it (honestly did you ever think his images of frankfurters and fries were on purpose of beauty? I think that the guy is more clever than most plasticians, he wants us a reaction of disgust even if that’s make you think he’s a crap photographer. How do you feel about the Dolphins’ hat the mexican guy wears?)), therefore I guess you have to take it the exact opposite way : Parr shows what you’re never supposed to do photowise with maximum tacky effect.

Hence never or barely center a portrait…

The semiotics square theory would explain what most photographers want to show : I remember I promised Gal I had to write something about it in his reality/photography thread. I have to do it but later on…

As for good portraits Maciek, I don’t quite agree with the statement that “the most important thing in portraits is "that something" in eyes or a special expression” : my personal feeling is that better portraits comes from “the storyboard” or the small details that can recall their own lives, I don’t think a simple expression can recall that by itself (Do you remember Picasso by HCB, the important features where the hands, the misty bridge behind Sartre etc.). There even a very good portrait of Giacometti where’s the sculptor is totally blurred, only his sculptures defines him.

You would entitled to ask me “then there are no good close portraits to you?” That's pretty right, unless it’s a command where you have to shoot the bride at her wedding, or you put in your head that you could economically compete against photo portrait booths and give better quality (which I’m sure), I don’t really see the point in very tight portraits. (As a matter of fact, you can thumb Magnum’s website and eventually tell me how many tight portraits you see, I can predict it's close to nil…)
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