Canon 5D MII EF24-70 f4L@80 | 1/640s | f/5 | ISO800 | Handheld
The title of John Szarkowski’s book has become part of my daily photographic experience. It has gone into my subconsciousness and I cannot help myself using it. Every photograph is either on the realistic/documentary/objective side and is a “window” or is on expressionistic/fiction/subjective side and is a “mirror”. In other words, I as a photographer, can choose to “reflect the outside world on myself” or to “reflect myself on the outside world”. It’s true that these two are inseparable: every photograph is subjective and objective; realistic and expressionistic at the same time and pure “realistic” photographs exist no more than pure “expressionistic” ones. However most of the times a photograph has a tendency toward one of these extremes.
This brings the discussion to the above photograph. It is a photograph of “windows” and the title also confirms this. However I have injected some of my own reflections in these windows. This building in everyday life of people passing in front of it is not seen or felt as depicted in this photo. The windows perspective, angle, color, and depth has been altered. The reality of the building has been deformed.
Now the question is how I should categorize this photo. Is it more a “window” or a “mirror” photograph?