The only other shot from the series taken at the reclamation area that came out well. I don’t know if I just wound up with a bad roll of film or if the developer screwed up, but all of the shots came back muddied and dark.
I wish I’d framed the shot better (I took it almost a decade ago, when I was significantly wet behind the ears), but despite the technical issues with the shot, I still find it a very striking piece.
I think it’s a combination of the look in her eyes, how she’s sitting among the rubble of her home, holding a piece of wood that could well have come from it. Even at that young an age she’s very guarded and cautious.
This is definitely one of the weakest photos, if not the weakest. The child might make an okay subject but the photograph is visually boring with all of these flat greys. The dog tucked away down there doesn’t work at all, imo. I don’t like the graininess either (it does work well for “cross,” though).
“Heh. Those are actually pretty much my exact sentiments on the photo. Sadly, the noise and the flatness of the image was due to either a bum roll of film, or a poor lab. I’m not sure which. All I know is the prints I got back were of terrible quality.
All in all, it is a weak shot. The composition, the dog .. I’d have much rather had her on the left third instead of the right. And sans dog.
But there’s something about the look on her face that keeps me held, despite all the other flaws in the image. I tried to reprint the shot in my darkroom a while back, cropping out everything but her, but it came out even grainier. The negatives were just in really bad shape.
“Oddly enough, it’s one of my favourites so far because of the flatness. It allows the subject to shine without any real dark/light highlights or battle between the background and the foreground. Her clothing is the only real white in the scene, a deciding factor which would have been lost if there was less gray.
I doubt it would have worked as well if she was in the left third – with her composed in the right, with the dog at her feet, it allows for more ‘story’ – this tiny little guardian of the broken world behind her. The worn down dog enhances this world. Does she know it is there? It places her at the ‘front’ of the story, rather than the element introducing the broken world of the background.”