According to Yuri Rasin I started this thing, truth be told it came out of a conversation we were having comparing photos of Christopher Agou and why we liked them. The next thing I knew, we had a weekly challenge set up to post a blog post with a review/critique a master’s photo using either the Magnum photos site, In-Public or Burn my eye. We’ve covered a few greats since then and Brook and Pavel have joined in. You too are more than welcome to join in with #MondayPhotoPicks just take a look on twitter for the hashtag, keep an eye out for who the photographer will be (we’ll post on Sunday night) and then pick a photo and publish it on the Monday (or near abouts)
This weeks pick, Martin Parr
Yuri got to pick this week’s choice and he selected Martin Parr. Martin Parr is a legend of British Street photography. He came to fame for his interesting take on photographing the British public in a way that highlighted their quirky tastes and past times. His series called “the last resort” featured great images highlighting the strange beach territory of “New Brighton”. Since then he has gone on to do projects around the world with a similar insight, picking up on the normal everyday, yet in a way which shines a light into the soul of a country. I think his work is best enjoyed as a project as each image build on each other rather than some photographers who go for the single killer shot.
My Martin Parr Pick
Honestly, I found this a hard task, Martin has so many images to choose from and many great images. So I’m not saying this is my favourite Martin Parr photo (unlike I did with Jozef Koudelka last week). Instead this is my pick to show off this time, another week and my choice could be different. In the end I went with an image from his series on “Luxery”. [taken from magnum photo site]
I like this for three strong reasons, the composition, the juxtaposition and the interesting view and message of the photographers.
The juxtaposition is perhaps the most obvious part, the fur coat with the dog on the woman’s lap make it almost merge into the coat appearing as though the coat is made of a dog (which it could be but I’m fairly sure they aren’t the same fur the more I look at it). In contrast, there is a dog behind sat up, clearly alive. This makes for an interesting statement about the value of the animals and a great contrast.
Compositionally, there is an impression of a line caused by the people’s heads, moving towards the distance. The background is fairly undistracting but the separation and figure to ground could perhaps be better in a couple of areas. Still, I suspect this is the best of a bad situation with the rows of people, trees and poles in the background. It’s more impressive there isn’t a really awkward pole sticking out of someone’s head. There is also good depth caused by the rows of people and lines in the image.
Finally, the message of the photographer comes through in this image and the series. I don’t think he is being judgemental, but he shines a light on the value of animals and pets. The presence of sunglass add a slightly sinister and mysterious element by hiding the eyes (the window to the soul) of the onlookers.
I think it works well without the added text explaining the location, you don’t need that information to understand the image.
Check out some other choices
Why not head over and check out Yuri, Pavel and Brooks choice. Also why not pick your own favourite picture and blog about it as well. [or join in next week if you like]