Thursday, February 20, 2014

Photographic blues

The following image shows a group of women attending an electoral meeting in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

The name of the professional photographer who obtained the image that you see here, published by AFP, is Shah Marai. On the other hand, we know nothing of the identity of the attendee who was using a blue smartphone to take a photo of her surroundings, nor do we have a copy of the image she obtained. There’s no doubt about it: the blue tones create a soothing esthetic effect, disrupted strikingly by the lady’s bordeaux garments. Needless to say, it’s a huge challenge to reveal the essential human dimensions in the case of a refractory subject such as this, and few photographers can hope to succeed. Curiously, Shah Marai’s photo seems to be marred by a small but intrusive patch of blinding white light (no doubt a technical blunder, which could easily be Photoshoped out) near the right-hand-shoulder of the lady in blue. It would be interesting to know how the image might (or might not) have been enhanced by the use of a blue filter.

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