What is Left Out?

I picked up a Moviepass card earlier this year and have been able to watch a movie weekly. My main aim is to just relax, get caught up on what is in theaters and see some great cinematography. After seeing the recent "You We're Never Really Here", I was taken away by the movie and especially a few scenes.

The images and scenes reminded me of a quote in The Photographer's Playbook from Michael Schmelling.

I had a professor who once told me something like this: if you know what the picture is before you take it, it's not worth taking... I think it's always served as a reminder to avoid the obvious photos, and the easy explanations. You should take any photo you want to -just don't make the assumption about what they mean, or what they might mean later. 

The movie itself is similar to Taken about a teenager being abducted and the violent path to get her back. Unlike taken there is a lot of mood, open pacing and ambiguous shots. Shooting something ambiguously so the audience has to guess at the meaning or motive of the image is a difficult and rewarding task.  

Here are three shots from YWNRH that on stand on their own as images but don't give you enough to know anything else. All three play impactful parts to the stories. 

When I look through my photography, the images that I revisit the most have an open ended and ambiguous nature to them. Three of them happened when I shot in a Catholic high school parking lot, down the block from my house. I didn't have any intentions or goals when taking the images and it led to more interesting images. I actively try and recreate the same feelings now in my pictures but it's not something I can easily channel. 

Maybe it's how you approach the images and the scene and less about composition and lighting. Whatever it is I wish I could do it more. 

Watching more movies this year than I have in a long time has been a great learning experience. You can see how a director develops a story through images and also find little nuggets on how to better frame your photography. I'm really impressed with movies having scenes that leave the audience guessing. It doesn't always have to end up in purpose but it keeps me thinking and analyzing, something I hope to do with my images too.