The vintage photo of the day is from the series Portugal by Master Czech photographer Josef Koudelka and was taken in 1976. Koudelka is well known for his work photographing Gypsies in Slovakia and Romania as well as capturing the daily‚interactions‚of people from many different (mostly) European countries.
What attracts us to this image is the sense of story combined with brilliant composition. I don’t know what the story is here but it’s a drama. Older man waits in background with a shadowed profile overlooking a private conversation. The woman is smiling in profile, perhaps trying to soothe or coax the young girl, and the child is concerned. What is happening to her? For me, this scene is filled with tension.
Compositionally, this image is a master-class. Angular lines add to the tension in the image. Triangles (our eyes love‚triangles) are everywhere . Corners, angled light rays, noses, table ends, knee bends, elbows are just a few of the triangles that we see. Look harder and you’ll see more of them…it’s no accident that they are there. Even the interaction (both obvious and subtle) between the 3‚individuals‚is triangular. Some fine black and white printing with a rich assortment of tones further‚adds to this image’s impact.