I call it Actor’s Studio. Yes, I know what the real Actor’s Studio is or was. Maybe the inspiration came from there.
It is one of my favourites for doing Itching Images because you need such an incredible amount of luck to get a way with it.
It is not only the placement of the people and the directions they move in or even look in. It is also the activities in which each individual engage. And the visual dialog that goes on in each group.
It is like being in a studio and leaving it to the actors to arrange themselves. Of course, that is not the case in street photography. You should not arrange anything apart from maybe yourself.
When I look at this image, and it does not matter who shot it, because the very moment it is in the box it belongs only to itself, and no one can no longer claim it, I am reminded of these words by John Szarkowski.
He said: The first thing a photographer learned was that photography dealt with the actual; he had not only to accept this fact, but to treasure it: unless he did, photography would defeat him.
He learned that the world itself is an artist of incomparable inventiveness, and to recognize its best works and moments, to anticipate them, to clarify them and make them permanent, requires intelligence both acute and supply.
John Szarkowski: The Photographers Eye, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 2009.
My favourites in this group of real time actors playing out their roles at the steps of the Dome in Berlin, who are they? In fact I have two sets: the homesick Norwegian in the front, and the two mobile shooters at the top of the stairs. In the middle.
It is all in their language. The world itself is an artist of incomparable inventiveness.
Good luck with it. Your own actors.
© Knut Skjærven. All rights reserved. Text and photo.
Copenhagen February 19, 2013.