Thursday, June 18, 2015

201202968 Lim Jung-Yun/ Final exam reaction essay/ Thurs 56

From the Faces of Babes   

Children are like open books in the sense that they cannot hide their emotions. Pure unadulterated emotion can be easily seen on the faces of youngsters and often leave a striking impact on the adults who look upon them. Here are two photos. At a glance the two pictures seem similar while further observation indicates otherwise. The first photograph depicts two young girls with a sense of such upmost despair and sadness to the viewers. On the other hand, the second photograph shows two girls shyly gazing the camera lens almost adorably. While both different, the two photographs are similar in the sense that they evoke a powerful sense of emotion for the people viewing the photographs.

 The first photograph shows two young girls no more than 4 or 5 years old. The girl on the left is slightly taller but they both look like the same age. Judging by the endless fields of sand and bare land, the girls seem to be at a prairie. The long shadows behind of the two girls indicate that the photo was taken in daylight almost before the sunset. The two girls do not seem well cared after. They both have messy unkempt hair and tattered dresses. Despite the fact that the photograph is black and white, it is not hard to see that the dresses of the girls are worn out and even slightly stained. The girl on the left is barefoot and judging by the state of her feet, has been so for quite a bit of time. The girl on the right does have shoes on, but the shoes look as worn out as her dress. What is so striking about this particular photograph are the facial expressions of the two children. Both children have weary and tired almost resigned expressions on their face. Not a trace of even a hint of smile or a twinkle in their eyes can be found. It makes the viewer wonder what hardships these children could have experienced to have such a sense of hopelessness from such a young age.

 The second picture on tells quite a different story. Just like the first picture, the second picture shows two young girls leaned against a brick wall. The girl on the left seems about 4 years old while the height and overall size of the girl on the right indicates that she is about 6 to 7 years old. The two girls each have one hand on the other. The closeness of the two girls along with their physical similarities seems to imply that the girls are sisters. The two girls are also barefoot but unlike the girls from the first picture, their feet are clean. Overall, they seem to be well cared for and groomed. The girl on the left has braided hair while the girl on the right sports a hair band with a huge ribbon on the top. Both girls have crinkled dresses but they do not look old or unwashed. Both the girls are smiling at the camera. The girl on the left seems a little bit shy judging the tilt of her head while the girl on the right is smiling quite brightly. It is easy to imagine that the person taking the photograph is one of the parents of the two girls or at least someone the girls enjoy being with such as a close relative.

 Except for the fact that the two photographs portray two girls, the photos are very different. The composition, angle, and the overall feeling of the first photograph seem very impersonal. It almost feels like a photographer with a soon-to-be expired deadline hurriedly and brusquely took this photograph to use it as a textbook illustration. On the other hand, the second photograph seems like something a loving parent took to frame it and put it on their desk to look at it all the time. The first photograph evokes a sense of sadness and an almost distressing feeling to the viewer while the second photograph cannot help but bring out a smile to the viewer's face. Regardless, there is no denying that both photographs are equally powerful in different ways.

 It is amazing how a single snap of a moment can contain so much depth and stories within it. What is shown in the photographs are not just that single 1/1000 second of a moment. It is a compressed image of the situation the photograph was taken, the time and choices that led the photographer to take that photograph and the subjects to get their photograph taken. This is why the wearisome stares of the two girls and the happy smiles of the two sisters will haunt the viewer's memory long after viewing them. 

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