Photo Friday: Sunset / 5 August, 2004 [click for previous image: Marshall at the seaside]
Photo Friday: Sunset / 5 August, 2004 [click for next image: one inch deep]
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Title • Photo Friday: Sunset

I've entered this shot for this week's Photo Friday challenge – Sunset – simply because I've looked through several hundred great shots that have already been entered and wanted to do something a bit different. Hence this shot, which is roughly 90° different from the rest of the entries in that it's shot by the light of the setting sun. Oh, and had this not been a Photo Friday entry I would have called it "colour calls the past" … the relevance of which will become apparent below.

Also, I was discussing this shot with Jason Wall who kindly agreed to let me use his critique to accompany this entry:

"My initial reaction was positive. The composition had no immediate problems. My next thought was to notice the almost duo toned quality of the photograph which was played out in two ways. The first was the way the paint on the pier in the background blended with the color of the sky, and the second was the way the skin tones and sand blended in the color of the setting sun. I noted you took advantage of the 'Golden Hour' (those few precious hours just before sunset when all things seem to look better).

At this point I remembered you had named the photo, so I checked the title again which was, 'Colour Calls the Past'. This amplified a subsurface feeling of those scenes from old family photos and television newsreels of Coney Island and the proto-typical day at the beach in twenties and thirties. The use of the older spelling in 'Colour' was also a nice touch.

Taking this particular tack of nostalgia and history, the somewhat pastel and brownish cast of the colors are a lot like the look of older photos, whether due to poor color processing technology or simply time. The architecture of the pier isn't modern, and falls squarely into the 20s-50s period, i.e. the Baby Boomer generation.

The cast of the sun puts the time of day in the evening, and the broader scene I see depicted is of the Mom and Dad sitting off to the side, resting after a good long day of horsing around, perhaps packing away a few things for when it is time to go. The kids are taking advantage of the last few rays of sunshine, just enjoying the feel of sand beneath their feet and using the last bit of their energy. As soon as the sun sets, the family hops in the car and the kids fall asleep on the way home.

I like the photo quite a bit. I think it is a bit funny in that it doesn't fall squarely into the 'Light Painting' or 'Perspective' categories I delineated several days ago though. Just as soon as you try to categorize something, boundary lines are broken.

A couple of other thoughts, the pink of the baby's fleece is a nice balance to the baby blue sky, and prevents the browns of the sand from taking over and making the scene feel drab."

Jason Wall | walljm

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Canon G5
7.55pm on 1/8/04
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