Street Photo Of the Week #15

Cars in Lebanon are more than just a way of getting you from a point A to a point B, especially considering all the time we spend in them on a daily basis (stuck in traffic mostly) and how much care we put into them. And in our culture in particular, your car becomes a direct reflection of your social status so the flashier, newer and more expensive it is, the closer to the door of that trendy club the valet will park it (which is quite unfortunate for my modest Honda Civic).

Considering cars surround the streets we’re trying to shoot, the street photographer has two options:

1. Shoot around the cars parked, or driving, in the way of your shot, and do your best to get the cars out of the frame your shooting so the focus remains on your subject (if you’re say, taking a portrait of someone).

2. Shoot carefully and creatively with them in the shot (in the background, out-of-focus, or cropped at a nice angle to the composition)

But for this week’s theme, we decided to add a 3rd option to that list: Shoot the cars themselves! With so many great street photos posted on this theme, it was a tough choice selecting just one to feature. We chose Samar’s photograph, however, because it went beyond just capturing a car on the streets at a cool angle to creating an interesting dialogue between an otherwise inanimate subject (the car) to an extremely animated subject (the little child):

"The Time Machine" by Samar Hawa

Besides the clear contrast between the two main subjects, there’s a certain innocence implied – by the young playful boy (obviously) but also by the car reminiscent of a more innocent age in our history when things were much simpler and safer (relatively-speaking).

Here’s also where the importance of the title aids in the interpretation. Note to all photographers reading this: Choose the titles of your photographs carefully. It’s your way of giving the viewer a small clue about what you were thinking when you took the photograph, and if carefully phrased, how you interpret it.

What do you think of this photograph? Share your thoughts and interpretations with us!

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