All this technology doesn’t take a better picture.

Sigh, it’s really kind of sad. We have all of this wonderful technology surrounding image making and quite often it just gets in the way. Apparently it’s a US Navy tradition for one lucky sailor to have “The first kiss” when returning from deployment. For the first time ever,it was a homosexual couple kissing on December 22nd, now that “don’t ask – don’t tell” has been lifted. This Kodak Moment could have been reminiscent of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s icon ticker tape kiss:
Ticker Tape Kiss

It should have been iconic, a tribute to long over due equality being extended to new generations of soldiers and to all the gay service men and women that so bravely sacrificed for our country. Instead, the image that Brian J. Clark/AP delivered is a classic example of what not to do:
Navy's First Lesbian Kiss

If having a great subject is 95% of the battle, the other 5% was lost here. For starters, it breaks the “rule” of not putting heads in the “Bull’s Eye” of the frame. Eyes should be in the top third of the image. Nothing about the framing is good. A lower angel would move that yellow crap away from the subject’s heads, while also adding a larger-than-life feel plus getting less pavement and more boat in the image. Also why is this framed in landscape, was it a video frame capture? That makes no sense. The frame is noticeably tilted and limbs are oddly cropped off. All of these “rules” can be broken for effect, but this combination of infractions just makes it seem like an amateur snapshot. This isn’t an echo of history, it’s a muddled reverberation. My apologies to Brian Clark, maybe this was just an off frame, day, or perhaps conditions were more difficult than they seem or something. But the quality of the image doesn’t match the weight of the moment. I somewhat blame technology. It’s the best explanation for the sort-of-video framing (video/still camera in one). Using the center AF point and not focusing then recomposing explains the “bull’s eye”. But more over is the idea that a good camera takes good pictures. It just didn’t happen here. I wish the subject matter was better captured. Over half a century later, and having multiple processors assisting, about the only things better now is color rendition and turn around time. It’s that a worthwhile tradeoff?

1 thought on “All this technology doesn’t take a better picture.

  1. Another example of cell phone photo journalism and the ‘fix it later in photoshop’ generation.

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