The shooting story of the photograph, the identities of the photographed people, the life story of the photographer, the special meanings of the objects / events in the photograph and similar information reveal important clues during the interpretation of a photograph. Theories of criticism towards the external world and society (reflective) and towards the artist (expressive) act from these clues in the analysis of the work and build their interpretations on this information to a great extent.
Here are 5 photographs taken by master photographers and have a place in the history of photography. In the interpretation of the photographs here, instead of the above-mentioned reflective and expressive theories; I found it more appropriate to act on the basis of the structural analysis theories that directly focus on the formal structure and content of the work and the audience-oriented reception aesthetics theories.
For this reason, in the analyzes below, I aimed to reach the meanings that were molded by the emotions it aroused in me and that act directly from the image itself by ignoring the information about photographs and their photographers as much as possible.
The sub-readings and connotations of the photographs may differ from viewer to viewer, or may not be compatible with the first intention and conscious preferences of the photographer. However, as soon as a photo is shared with the viewer, the photographer must be taken out of the way. As long as it is consistent with the image, he is as free as possible in the interpretation of the audience.
In the photo, an old man lies with his hands folded over his stomach. Gathered on his head and in a sad mood, the women give the impression that the man is more on his deathbed than asleep, and even a dead person whose funeral will be held the next day.
The wall texture in the background creates an atmosphere that this moment of mourning takes place in a closed and narrow environment, possibly in a poor place. Tilting of the wall line over the dead due to the frame tilting to the left; It strengthens the emotional effect by making mourners beside you flow over the dead in bed.
The light from the top left of the photo not only illuminates the dead man’s face, it also increases the depth of the expressions on the mourning women’s faces. This light is such a perfect element in photography that we can easily believe that the photograph was framed from a theater stage.
The composition structure of the photograph, which consists of triangles, adds both movement and depth to the photograph. There are three main triangular structures in the composition:
1) The triangle starting with the head of the dead man (consisting of the man’s body) in the lower left part of the photograph, 2) the triangle starting with the head of the dead man (consisting of wall textures) in the upper left part of the photograph, 3) starting with the head of the dead man and leaning to the right edge (mourning) holding women) triangle.
In this case, the main focus and point of departure is the dead man’s face every time. Our eyes continue the movement that started from the face of the dead in the photograph by spreading into the triangle where the women are.
Four of the five women crouching on the ground were lost in their own thoughts, even though they were facing the dead man.