Abby’s Photographic Essay

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Photo 1: www.theironstonenest.com

Photo 2: amarkedman.com

Photo 3:  www.dreamstime.com

Photo 4:  www.sarahesther.com

Photo 5:  dereknelsonphotography.tumblr.com

Photo 6:  www.123rf.com

Photo 7:  www.hospiceportraits.com

Photo 8:  weheartit.com

Photo 9:  www.tumblr.com

Photo 10:  www.123rf.com

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7 Responses to Abby’s Photographic Essay

  1. Title: Motion
    In this photographic essay, there are no faces shown, yet the observer can get a sense of what kind of person/people have the hands in each photograph. Although by name each photograph is simply a hand, one can look at both the surrounding setting and the state of each hand in order to find out more about the subject of the photograph. Each photo may be of a single moment, but each moment seems to be a snapshot of hands in motion. The observer can wonder at where the hands came from, and where they will go next.

  2. Title: Tools
    The human body is so self-reliant. There are things that people are born with that was not paid for. These things are called hands. Hands can do so many things and are almost completely unique to us. It is hard to imagine how one would survive with no hands and it is easy to commend those who have. These free tools of the universe enable us to climb a tree, hold a flower, and grasp a loved one. Hands are a beautiful thing.

  3. maxinesrich says:

    Title: Grasping Life

    This narrative emphasis the beauty that can be told through the story of just our hands. How they move, what they have written, what they have held–all of these flow together into one’s life story told through just one body part. One’s hands are an integral part of one’s self identity, for we operate through life with these five fingers and two palms.

  4. Sheila Jelen says:

    My title for your essay was simply “Hands.” I love the way the images are coming from behind and are focalized through the hands. The first image within the scope of the larger project is particularly fascinating because it focuses on a baby’s feet as framed within a mother’s hands, but not on a baby’s hands. I was interested in the way you discuss “a story of the compiler” and a “clear idea of the message or emotion they wish to impart.” So a photographic narrative, to you, is a clear emotional story imparted by a compiler. Would you say that any of the theories we have read this semester, thus far, have impacted your sense of this?

  5. I chose not to add captions or a title to my photographic essay. I think that to add words would restrain and confine the range of meaning that the images could otherwise impart to the viewer. To do so would be to force my interpretation and the meaning I had envisioned onto the audience. But, there could be many interpretations of the photographic essay, ones that I may have never thought of. By inserting my own interpretation, I would be asserting that it is the only correct way to view the images. In opposition to Mohr, I do not believe this is true, the photographer or compiler does not hold the absolute truth and meaning behind them, while they may have an interpretation, they have no authority to assert that it is the right one. They may provide context for the images, but with this essay, as I did not take the photographs, I do not know the context for all of the images, and in this case, I do not believe that context is needed for an understanding of the essay. I think that a collection of photographs can hold greater meaning for a viewer if they are allowed to come to their own conclusions as opposed to being predisposed to look at them in a certain light. While a title alone may not necessarily do this, I feel that it would still lead the viewer to think of it in a certain manner, when otherwise they may have not thought of the images in that way at all. I agree with Mitchell in that I think that the images should be able to stand on their own as a piece. Words, in the form of captions or a title, may help or collaborate with the photographs, but they are not necessary, as the images of a photographic essay should be able to stand independently.

    I’m not a photographer and I don’t own a camera, so I knew for the photographic essay I would have to utilize photographs taken by someone else. When I began searching for images, I knew that I wanted to use photographs that did not center on people’s faces, because I felt that this is the most common way to show emotion through images, but I believed that there were many more options, which I wanted to explore. I first found and was attracted to the final image I used, of the clasped hands holding a rosary, and decided I wanted to include this picture in my essay. Then, I found the first image I used, of the hands holding a baby’s feet. As both of these images were focused on the hands of the individual, I decided that I would center my photographic essay on hands, and see if I could find images to tell a life story through them. I had a distinct vision that I was trying to convey when locating the images and putting them together, I was attempting to put a certain point across. However, when other people viewed and commented on my photographic essay, many took away from it different points than I had been considering when I made it. This is what prompted my decision to not add captions, because I felt that differing interpretations added to the essay, and I did not want to limit that.

  6. Sheila Jelen says:

    A fascinating consideration. I love the idea that you respected other people’s readings so much that you did not want to override or overrule them by imposing a title or captions. On the other hand, I believe that, like a poem, a well-chosen title or caption need not necessarily shut down possibilities for interpretation, but may actually open them up.

  7. Laura says:

    I really like that you focus on the polysemous nature of your images (that they can have multiple meanings). Personally, the way I read you essay was as exemplifying the way hands are both creative tools and a means to support others and yourself. In Terri’s section, we talked a lot about black and white photographs and how that impacts the way we read photographs, and I think it is really interesting that every photograph in your essay save the finger-painting one is in black and white. Black and white photographs tend to make an image seem more in the past or somber, and the colorful nature of the finger-painting photograph really highlights the joy and living-in-the-moment state of being a child.

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