Interpretation of an Image


When you look at this photograph what do you see? Or perhaps I should ask what do you feel?

When I photograph something I try to shoot it in a way that, hopefully, gets the viewer to feel how I was feeling about what I was seeing. I often do this by narrowing and isolating what I'm looking at, and by visual reorganization of what I'm looking at. And I certainly do this through my own visual interpretation of what I'm looking at. I find it an interesting challenge to try to express my thoughts and feelings to the viewer in a single frozen moment in hopes that the same feelings are evoked in them. I always loved having the same challenge when I worked as a choreographer in the theater, but there I certainly had an enormous amount of time to accomplish the same thing.

I know what I see and feel in this image, my own childhood. It brings me right back to being a young child, playing on a swing in an empty lot behind our house in the city. I often was alone, my head thrown back just like this, my eyes closed, feeling the sun on my face, the rush of air on my skin from the movement, the rhythm of the swing rocking me like a baby, the sound of the squeaky metal chain keeping time like a metronome. So innocent, carefree, happy, peaceful.

The fact that you can't see the face, and that you don't even know if the child is a girl or a boy, or what time frame this is lets the viewer personalize the moment with his/her own feelings rather than looking at a portrait of so-and-so. For me it's such a sweet throwback to my own dear childhood. And hopefully it will evoke some of the same feelings for others.