Wednesday, April 16, 2014

PICK OF THE WEEK: A Little Light Flirting

A Little Light Flirting (Perth Australia December 2013)

I've recently started reading a little about the French Humanist photographers. In a nutshell, after World War II, French photography began to focus on the "ordinary people" going about their daily lives. It was a way to celebrate humanity, to find a new view of the world after the horrors of the war. Of course, there is a bit more to it than that: for example there are several "categories" or types of images that are defined as being humanist photography as expressed at that time in France.

At this stage, I don't feel I know enough about that particular movement to write too much. But, for this week's Pick I have chosen an image which fits nicely into one of the "categories". While I can't for the moment remember the exact label used, the category includes images of young people courting (I think that this could be where the tradition of photographing people kissing in Paris began).

It is a joyous sight to see. Two young (or not so young of course) people courting or, as we like to say, flirting. These two are clearly attracted to each other and the image appears to suggest that they are going to be much more than friends before too much longer.

Of course, like any photograph, this one is open to interpretation; the "real" story could be totally different from the romantic one I have presented here. But, to me at least, it's pretty plain to see what is happening here.

Humanist photography focuses, obviously enough, on humanity. Humanity and the way we behave, the way we communicate and the stuff we do in our so-called ordinary lives. Well, as you know, I am famous for saying that there are no ordinary moments. Nor are there any ordinary people. In fact this photograph records what to me is a really rather special moment: that small space and time when two people find each other, when they both realize that the attraction is mutual, and when the possibilities, at least for that brief interval of time and in that space (which for the moment has become all their own) seem to be endless.


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