Thursday, January 28, 2010

Otto Steinert

I chose the photograph “A Pedestrian Walking” by Otto Steinert, taken in 1951 in Paris. Steinert was a founding member of Fotoform and throughout his life espoused the idea of “subjective photography”, which values the photographer's personal interpretation and vision, often in abstract forms, over documentary realism. While personally I believe that both forms of photography is important I do think that the photograph highlights the fact that the medium can go beyond simply framing a snapshot of a moment in time, to creating images that one simply cannot otherwise see.

The photograph is impressive on a technical level for the difficulty involved with getting the right shutter speed to blur just the body of the pedestrian while leaving his leg sharp, and I believe is excellently composed with the solidity of the tree contrasting the pedestrian. Though the image is composed of mundane everyday objects - footpath, road, tree and pedestrian, it is framed in such as way as to create abstract shapes with them, and ironically, while the photograph captures movement, the overall image feels static.

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