Silent sights – a photo essay

I wanted to do a photo essay. I liked the idea of having a set of images all around the same subject. However, I couldn’t, no, I didn’t want to wait until I go out shooting again. So I searched through my old photos and extracted those that had some common subject.

The subject was the silence. Photos that represented some action that was silent in my head. To make myself entertained while looking for these, I also set some rules for the set:

  • photos had to contain people, something I’m not very good at photographing, I’m better at landscapes I think, since I usually take a lot of time preparing things for a photo.
  • have some contrasting idea between a pair of photos.
  • they had to have something playful in common to tie them from one to the other like an element that appeared in both of them. This later morphed into not just an element but an idea.

While the portrait orientation wasn’t a requirement, since I publish photos to my Instagram feed, I searched for taller photos or cropped them. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

The element joining the images below is the beach and the sea. Both were taken in the Coney Island beach, which, if you go far away from the Luna Park amusement park is quite silent, only the sea speaks relentlessly. There’s also a contrast between two people walking and one walking alone.

From the right photo to the first one below, what ties them together is the fence, and between these two, is the stairs. These are taken in the Wall Street area in New York and in a park in the city where I live. I like the contrast between clothing as well, since that day in New York was sunny and hot, and in my city was rainy.

From the previous one to this one, what ties them are the horizontal lines. Yeah, that’s a bit of a stretch maybe. The thing is when I make a photo I don’t see tangible objects only, I also see patterns or colors and they’re very important in photography. In fact, what ties these two is the yellow color. Both are taken in the Chinatown in Manhattan, New York, and there’s also a contrast of sitting vs being in motion.

The running man photo is tied to the ballerina photo by an idea: the body in motion. And it’s tied to the last one by a location, a station. The ballerina photo was taken in Grand Central Terminal in New York, an insanely busy place with people coming and going in every direction. The last one was taken in the Union Station, a former train station which is now a hotel, located in Nashville, Tennessee. The contrast between these two is the crowd in the first one and the empty place in the last one.

This was a fun exercise, and something that I would keep in mind when making a photo essay in the future from the beginning, that is, not having the photos beforehand. Not only I’ll think of a subject but I’ll try having some common idea and some contrasting one.

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