Monday, February 15, 2010

Perching



Rennes, Jardins du Thabor.

I wonder if I lived more among people, if I would get used to the idea of taking photos of them.  I always feel more comfortable if their backs are turned, or if they are far off, figures in a landscape.  Generally I don't seem very oriented towards them visually, am poor at recognising people out of context, and find it difficult to know how to look at photographic portraits and street photgraphy.  I liked the way the colours of the children's clothes mirrored the birds, and their attitudes.  The girl's brown hoody under her coat was lined with canary yellow - I was sorry I missed that.

More Rennes pictures later, or sooner.

17 comments:

Zhoen said...

In Boston, I often took photos of people, but rarely used recognizable ones to post. I prefer faces to be turned away, people as figures in a landscape, watching them watch feels much more interesting.

I can see just a hint of her yellow hoody lining.

Beth said...

What a wonderful picture, Lucy!

Rouchswalwe said...

This is one of those wonder-filled shots that is more a window instead of a photograph. I feel like I am the one standing there watching them all. The colour is arresting.

zephyr said...

Lovely photograph.
i have lots of trouble photographing people. The best ones i've taken are of The Boy, when he was young. Otherwise, i'm too timid.

HKatz said...

A lovely photo. I like the color matches between the children and birds, and how both children and birds seem so bright and watchful (even though you can't see the children's faces, you see the curiosity and attentiveness in their posture, and as you say, their perching).

Crafty Green Poet said...

well in the Uk we're so paranoid about taking photos of children not our own we don't do it unless their backs are turned!

This is a lovely photo and actually works very well with the children's backs, they seem so engaged in watching the budgies.

Lucy said...

Thanks, I did enjoy a day among people in a more populous, urban environment, I have to say.

CGP - yes, I have to say that figures in my thinking too, I don't want to make anyone uneasy like that. The fear of intrusiveness and invasion of privacy is not limited to children, but is much more of a worry and has more sinister ramifications these days, of course. Yet, though I'm not soppy about children, they are interesting visually; their attitudes, movements and the shapes they make are freer and more varied than adults, I think.

Jean said...

Love the photo! You definitely have an eye for it. In fact, once you have an eye for composition at all I think it can equally be applied to people. You need to start looking at them as patterns and colours. (not sure if this is a very nice way to look at people - not very humane - ok at least as long as the result is pleasing, not mocking, I think).

Plutarch said...

It is good to see that you are coming round to treating people as subjects for your photographs. I too find that shooting from behind overcomes some of the difficulty. Distance, as you have also demonstrated, is also helpful. Meanwhile you deserve all the praise which you have so far received for this photograph, to which I add mine.
Looking at it again I like not only the colour resonance, but the movement of the children contrasted with what we know to be the momentary stillness of the birds.

Barrett Bonden said...

In Britain taking photos of children below a certain age, so that their faces are recognisable, is against the law without permission from their parents. Just recently for the Belmont Rural website I photographed the handover of a cheque at a special needs school and things moved up to an even more restrictive level. The cheque was received by one of the pupils and I had to consult the admin office about the instructions on identification the child's parents had provided. The photo was allowable but no mention of the name was permitted, which meant that the caption read queerly.

These references about going to Rennes (for the curry, etc) are as mystical as a trip to Middle Earth. For ten years Rennes was a black hole on the route between Cherbourg and Drefféac and was surrounded by half of a perilous ring-road with black hole tendencies. It took half-a-dozen trips before I managed to sort its wilfully misleading directions and even then, surviving its two-lane distractions and suicidally short entrance ramps was a matter of teeth-grinding concentration. The fact that there are worthwhile diversions beyond the ring-road comes as a great surprise and my immediate reaction to your announcement in an earlier post that you were going to Rennes echoed those of the fledgling American government when John Paul Jones said he intended to go "in harm's way".

HLiza said...

I love the enthusiasm..the boy had one leg up!

Setu said...

I know these gardens quite well! Fifteen years ago, you could have seen me exactly at this very place on Sundays with a little boy and a little girl commenting on the bright colours of parrots... How nostalgic. Unlike the birds, they were not in a cage behind bars; they have made their way in life far from Brittany.

Lucy said...

Thanks again.

Jean and Plutarch - I very much like the way you include people in your pictures these days. I think that seeing people as shapes and colours is probably fine, preferable I think to making assumptions about them, though their attitudes can be intrigung too...

BB - that's rather depressing reading. However, I'm am glad of the opportunity to convince you of the beauties of Rennes, which is a town I like very much.

Hliza - I liked that too! I have another where the boy's face is turned in profile to the girl, and their attention is more towards one another, but it wasn't so interesting, and the presence of a facial expression actually distracted. Your people photos are gorgeous, some of my favourites, but they are almost always of people you love and write about, which is different again.

Setu - Le Thabor is a lovely place, I think; people all over Brittany seem to know and feel proud of it. I've posted about it here before. It's tremendously orderly and very well-policed, which I find adds to its charms. Your recollections have a tinge of melancholy...

Gretchen Seefried said...

I love photos of people's backs...and that is how most of my paintings and collages go too...maybe because mouths are such a bitch to draw. Lovely photo and may I use it for a collage?

Lucas said...

This is a great photograph capturing the reslessness that children have combined with their unspoilt skill as observers.

ege m. said...

that photo is really nice. here in istanbul we have a zoo which have hundreds of bird kind and the noise and colors of them is great. when I look this photo I remembered there. thanks =)

Granny J said...

I herd from a lawyer that here in the States, anybody who is out in public is fair game for the photographer. However, I tend to be very cautious about taking posting pix of people (other than entertainers) who are identifiable. Not quite sure why...