Some Things Look Better Photographed

Well, some things do. I guess a better way of putting it is that a photograph can make you see something from a different angle, in a different light, or make you think of something in a different way. I’m not sure Kenneth Snelson, the artist who created this “Needle Tower” in 1968 would agree with that statement, however most photographers would. It’s one thing to view the world through the amazing human eye, but photography allows you to focus on only part of your subject, remove color to accent the structure or contrast, and remove things from the field of view that may be distracting.

This photo by Flickr photographer furcafe (don’t ask me how he came up with that name) demonstrates all of these points. While I’m guessing this was shot at a relatively high f-stop, the structure blurs, giving the impression that the pattern is repeated to infinite. His use of black and white really emphasizes the symmetry of the pattern as well as the contrasting shades of the metal and the clouds. Finally, he has done a square crop on the photo with the focal point being directly in the middle. See I told you that it makes sense to center things sometimes!

To illustrate my point even further, here is another photo of the same Hirshorn Museum sculpture:

Spodie Odie’s shot tells a completely different story. He chose a side point of view which gives the viewer a sense of just how tall this structure is (especially relative to the museum), and yet you can still imagine it continuing up into outer space due to the soft focus. Furcafe’s black and white approach was completely blown out of the water with this crazy yellow/green/black color scheme, adding an abstract or futuristic touch. And finally the composition or framing of the sculpture is off center as it should be.

These guys both executed beautifully in giving their take on the Needle Tower. The question is, “Is a photograph of another artist’s art, really art in itself?” That is a question that’s been debated many times and is sure to come up in future posts.

PS – Submit your photos!

2 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on August 14th, 2006 @ 11:25 am

    Damn, Max, you rock. Your day job – a waste of talent

  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on August 14th, 2006 @ 11:33 am

    The debate surrounding photography of art as a seperate meta-artform is one I find fascinating if only for the virulency of both sides.

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