December 14, 2007

A coordinated set

Karen asked for portraits of her two daughters, and I love the way they turned out. They don't match, but they do go together so well (even more so in real life, where the purple is a little more muted than my camera can capture). The portrait of her older daughter with an umbrella is one of the best examples yet of how amazing a dynamic photograph becomes when reduced to the stark lines of a stencil. So great.

Stencil Portrait - Karen's older daughter

Stencil Portrait - Karen's younger daughter

I am completely fascinated by stencils because of the way they play on our minds' desire to find patterns in what we are seeing. By taking away the vast majority of details in a picture, stencils force us to extrapolate and add in new details to complete an image from an array of amorphous and otherwise meaningless shapes. It's just extraordinary to think about how desperate we are to connect, to find meaning, to coordinate and organize, and to recognize something known in the midst of ostensible chaos.