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My favorite photo on Flickr

posted Dec 22, 2014, 8:49 PM by Jose Velasquez   [ updated Mar 18, 2015, 5:49 PM ]
With billions and billions of photos on Flickr it's difficult to find one that stands above the rest. One could make an argument, simply based on the plethora of images available, that there is a photograph available for every reason and season of life. For me there's only one photograph that I consider my absolute favorite on Flickr. It's Igor Pavloff's work with the rather mundane title of "personal shooting in Paris". How personal it was for him, I've no idea, but it's a photograph that I enjoy for multiple reasons.

(c) Igor Pavloff



It's not a technically astute image; it's gritty, it's grainy, there's not much to it, but the punctum of it strikes at my heart like no other photograph does. The simple gesture of the woman placing her index finger over her lips speaks volumes to what the photo is trying to portray. There's an austere simplicity in that gesture that transcends cultures and speaks of the romance and mystique that one may find, specially in Paris. Her partially hidden face adds to the mystery of this work. In many ways this photograph encapsulates the cliché that Paris is a city for lovers; Pavloff's work does this beautifully with a hint of mystery and anticipation thrown in. 

The way Pavloff processed his photograph would be anathema to pixel-peepers, those who need the sharpest of corners, and those who think grain is a terrible thing to have in a photograph. There's nothing in the EXIF indicating the gear he used to create this portrait--it could be medium format film or FF (35mm) digital. My money is on FF digital. Nevertheless, this lack of information just adds to the aura of the photograph, lending credence to the notion that photography is more than just about the gear. The subject, the background, and the gesture all come together in this photography to create a story. It's a story that slowly unravels itself and leaves one wanting more. Is she alone? Why is she gesturing for her viewer to keep a secret? Why Paris? There is an unspoken invitation from the woman's gesture to explore the subject further, but alas the moment is fleeting and we can only admire the moment.   

Till my next review, rambling, or post, this is hey,hey...
~jsv

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