EMOTION—in BLACK & WHITE and COLOR: 15 PHOTOGRAPERS at the Terrain Gallery   [ to return click here ]


Len Bernstein, Discarded Automobiles, Hoboken, NJ



I have learned that emotion has to do with every technical choice photographers make—from deciding what to include and exclude in the viewfinder, to selecting a moment that we hope conveys eternal meaning.

The best technique depends on emotion that is fair to the subject. A poem I care for and that inspires me is "The Lesson of Art" by Eli Siegel:

Within debris
Is symmetry.

I had these lines in mind as I walked around the Hoboken Autobody looking at vehicles in various states of decline.  And then I saw this one bright car with doors, hood, and trunk thrown open on diagonals.  I positioned myself so that it would fit neatly into the semi-circle of wrecks in the background with their crumpled metal and lively colors.  I wanted to join these forms—so surprising and orderly—with the people who might have owned them, and so I topped the frame off with the more rectangular shapes of the homes in the distance.



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