Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meanwhile, Last Night

Left to Right: Becky, Jennell, Stan!, Lorelei, Rob, John, Me, Will, Dave, Scott. Picture by Bruce Cordell.
This photo is from a gathering of my writer's group, the Alliterates, at our habitual watering hole. Bruce Cordell took the photo (he would have been sitting between me and Stan! (who's back is to the camera). Steve Winter, who is also a member, was off camera to the right, but this was the group for the evening. I've put it up on other social networks, but I just want to talk about the composition.

But what I like about this photo is how evocative and well-lit the scene is, making it look almost like an oil painting. We have already talked about the comparison with the Last Supper. The center of the picture, over Rob, John, and Lorelei, is the best-lit and the center of the work. Bruce took this at a moment when we talking in one relatively big group (due to the size, throughout the evening, we had three or four conversations going at the same time). The figures are naturally posed because most of us didn't realize Bruce was taking a photo (except maybe Lorelei, with her arms folded). I don't remember what we were talking about, though I always use my my hands when making a point, and the sight-line was between me and Jennell. The background is well-lit, but other-worldly, its color palate separated from the muted hues inside the bar.

It is rare when a random photo creates this sense of story and a uniformity of feel. It looks like Lorelei, Rob, and John are sitting in judgement as Jennell and I make some arcane points. It was a passing moment, but captured. No one is caught off-guard or looking dorky as a result. It is one of those chance things that just works.

And that's pretty cool. More later,