Category: Street Photography

Photograph: “Crowd Control” by Fred Leaders

Fred Leaders’ image “Crowd Control”, is an example of an image that caught my eye at first glance, but I had to think about it for a while to figure out why.  It is because it is two photos in one, a single moment capturing two very different scenes, top and bottom.  

To illustrate this, look what happens when you crop the image in two.  In one scene you have a women and her baby, who seems to be looking or waiting for someone.  In the other you have an image of a crowd watching an event.  Individually, each of these scenes could stand on its own as a solid photo.  But together, the sharp contrasts between them make for a more interesting and expressive image.

The more you look at the image, the more contrasts you find between top and bottom.  A single mother and child in the bottom, versus a crowd where the only recognizable figures are staggered rows of hunched over men, in near identical poses.  A dark background versus a light one.  Straight lines as opposed to diagonals.  Rectangles versus triangles and parallelograms.  Looking left away from the field, staring to the right and toward it.  The whole image is brought together by the repeating patterns of the chainlink, and the strong lines drawing you from top to bottom, and back.

While they share the similarities of being in the same place and time, the two scenes show people having a completely different experience.  Perhaps most subtle is the only figure in the image looking towards the viewer is the child.  This little bit of eye contact helps create a connection, and draws you into the scene where you can start exploring all these cool contrasts.  

Originally shared on the Photofocus Flickr group

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