Sunday, February 13, 2011

The curtain

The curtain

I agree with your take on how there is a practical explanation behind wondrous things, but sometimes a suspension of disbelief is necessary for enjoyment. Like this image taken in Binondo during Chinese New Year. For some, it may remind them of a scene from a Chinese film, but it's really just two people behind a sheet of cloth on a truck driving along Ongpin St. With that prosaic and factual explanation, maybe it's an image that can stand better on its own.

It's a new and interesting experience for me to hear the reactions of people (who I don't know) to my photos, especially if they are well-versed in the art of images and story-telling. From my point of view, I just take shots, edit, and share them. Sometimes I feel strongly enough about an issue or story that I will express what I have to say through the images and text. And I feel a reluctance to add more to what I've already "said" by explaining it. I leave it to others to get it or not to get it. Does that make sense?

Images tend to be ambiguous and so my personal expression through images is not something that is always easy (even for me) to pinpoint/define/clarify. It is what it is. Yes, I could prepare a long explanation about the meanings, issues addressed, and the process I went through, but that's adding more than I feel is needed. If I wrote poetry, which I don't, I think I'd feel the same way. For me, I wouldn't want to prolong the process. Tapos na siya. On to the next.



  1. I is better to leave the interpretation to the viewers.

    Of course if you were teaching photography it would be helpful to explain what you wanted to express in the pictures you are taking.
    Why you take them... and what is the message.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Sidney! Yes, I really do respect and appreciate what viewers have to say and it helps me to hear their reactions. If I were teaching other photographers, I see what you mean about how an explanation could help guide them through the process of why I took or chose to show that particular shot or series of shots. Also, I see how explaining the message I hoped to convey might be helpful.

    Sometimes, though, I feel it's up to the viewers to get what they want out of it. It's in their hands now and I hope I've given enough clues to let them figure out what my intentions are and make their own decisions. What I feel is not so important anymore. And the viewers should not be constricted by my intentions or my explanations (or lack thereof). Anyway, this is something I'm still grappling with and maybe I'll have another opinion about this, as time goes by. :)