90 Degrees

Bondi, Sydney NSW

Bondi, Sydney NSW

ENVIRONMENTAL PORTRAITURE I:  The subject of the next few posts will be why and how we bring in aspects of place when photographing a person. The example above is presented as a starting point where the two components merge and are separate at the same time.

This image was made during a photographic excursion we conducted with a group of asylum seekers from Iran. The picture was taken in haste just before realising that it wasn’t such a good idea to be responsible for a group of 6 fully dressed adults (who happen to be on bridging visas) let loose with cameras on one of the world’s busiest beaches.

The pressure resulted in a kind of double-take, a familiar tactic to all photographers (and shoplifters), of taking the unsuspecting image followed by a diversion, in this instance, turning the camera 90 degrees overhead to avoid being detected.

This idea leads to an extended delineation of the portrait in an environment suggesting (what we all know but rarely think about) that there is always something else happening right at the same instance, just beyond our frame of vision.

This is at the heart of a way of thinking about environmental portraiture.