On reading Jeffrey’s How to read a photograph I came across the idea that parts of an image can rhyme with others. This appealed to my literary interest and background and encouraged me to consider photography as a creation much like a poem or piece of prose.
Walker Evans’ 6th Avenue/42nd Street is one image used by Jeffrey that shows rhyming within an image. ‘…two rear windows…..rhyme with her eyes’. (Jeffrey 2009 p221).
Jeffrey suggests that ‘Evans was lucky’ with the two rear windows, and says they ‘give structure to the picture’. I tried covering the windows with my fingers. The effect surprised me. The woman’s eyes are enhanced and more noticeable because of the windows. Without them, the viewer still looks at the woman, but does not notice her eyes.
Another image used by Jeffrey is Evans’ Sidewalk and Shopfront. He says ‘She must have worn that knitted that top to rhyme with the striped décor of the façade’.(Jeffrey 2009 p228).
The woman’s top is not as noticeable as the shop front stripes but it is clearly striped. I covered the top with my fingers to consider its significance. First, I covered the whole woman and concluded that without her, although the shop front was an interesting documentary image of an American street, it lacked a focal point. The striped top adds an additional amusing slant to the image which emphasises the woman’s character. Though she is not smiling, her clothing portrays her as interesting, perhaps eccentric, and this adds meaning to the image.
List of illustrations
Evans, W (1929) 6th Avenue/42nd Street. Photograph. At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/walker-evans/42nd-street-and-sixth-avenue-a-Mb3wsX3yk06oXhKTXsJ2SQ2 (Accessed 3.10.16)
Evans, W. Sidewalk and Shopfront. (1935).Photograph. At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/walker-evans/barber-shop-new-orleans-a-ihPVQ2QIqQeDGwKizTdV7Q2(Accessed 3.10.16)
Jeffrey, I & Kozloff, M, (2009). How to Read a Photograph:Understanding, Interpreting and Enjoying the Great Photographers. London. Thames and Hudson.