Friday, January 02, 2009

In Photography, What Puzzles the Eye May Please the Mind

By KEN JOHNSON @ New York Times

NEW HAVEN — Photographs are shameless. They’ll do anything to get your attention. They’ll show you celebrities in and out of their clothes, exotic creatures and objects, places and events that you would never otherwise see.

Another, paradoxical strategy for captivating viewers is to show them something they can’t immediately understand. Whether because of its visual complexity, its oblique perspective, its lighting, its degree of abstraction or the unfamiliarity of its subject, it’s the kind of photograph that makes you stop and think, “What the heck is that?” And it keeps you looking until you’ve figured out what it is you’re looking at.


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