Learning from our Failures

Strictly speaking we photographers don’t tend to show our failures. Why should we ? What would the point of that ? I’m going to break with that because  I want to share with you why the image below fails. We learn from our failures don’t we ? It’s obvious really and it was a damn shame because it would have been a good image for me. The reason this image fails is quite simply because the lady on the left is not looking at us the viewer. I asked her politely to look directly at the camera but she refused and continued to look out and down. This was taken at our town’s annual May Day March and these ladies were protesting about the pollution of the oceans. A noble and worthwhile cause you might say and I admire these ladies for taking their stance but the irony is that by refusing to look into the camera as directed, this lady she unwittingly made herself look a bit silly and thus unsure of her motives and personal political viewpoint. Had she looked into the camera as requested she would have presented herself as confident of her opinions and confrontation with us the viewer. This lady thus looks almost embarrassed to be there, unlike the lady on the right who is confronting us with an opinion and thus asking us to question this political protest. We are left in somewhat confusion and by that the image does not work as it should. The disappointment for me was that this lady did not put her trust in me to make the right kind of image even though I acknowledge she might not have wanted me to take a picture in the first place. The other disappointment for is that this lady was not sufficiently visually literate to know this. Compare the above to the image below and see how it works much better in this instance with the protestor looking directly out at us the viewer.

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