Friday, 20 February 2009

Girl at the fountain

Should I have removed her sandals?

Well since IMHO it was not documentary or reportage but art I could have done.

In the South of France less than four years ago, a storm was brewing and the light had fallen as we turned a corner in this medieval hilltop village and went back in time over a hundred years. and saw this ~ well almost this...

The only camera we had was a small digital without manual settings, so no flash and bracing myself as best as I could I made three quick images. This was the best but there is still some movement in it. Some photoshop work (including moving a small twentieth century notice on the fountain).

Should I have removed the girls' sandals? I decided not to at the time and .... Sepia, B&W, colour and part colour images followed.

Two weeks ago someone saw some versions of this image and asked if they could have a copy to produce an image in copper.

Last week his wife gave us the copper image and he had removed her sandals!


  1. Stunning in any form. I vote for keeping the sandals on. I'm too much of a compositional purist...I'm comfortable tweaking settings to push my emotional-photographic agenda. But I'm not entirely comfortable removing elements altogether.

    Unless, of course, they risk detracting from the message - a la the 20th century sign. I think that makes me a hypocrite :) Either way, this is fantastic work that evokes an immediate, base-of-the-spine response.

  2. Thank you for your comments Carmi. When I started photography a long time ago I knew those who went to the far extreme of purist photography ~ only use a Leica with a 40-50mm lens because that was what the eye saw, never crop any image and print the negative frame to prove it; however they would happily use diffenent films, push or pull process them when developing, alter contrast and brightness by using different graders of paper and chemicals, dodging or burning parts of the image when printing and sometimes tone them...all to obtain their previsualised picture. On the otherhand I recall those who manipulalted news pictures. A difficult line and I supposeeven the most avant-guard artist has some purist elements in them!