I have such an aversion towards the word adequate. Maybe it’s because it is so frugal and yet powerful, intimidating. Like government furniture of a satellite office in the desert.
Stare long enough and you will notice how depressing it is. It looks as if this image came out of the deepest and darkest recesses of a government archive, completely forgotten because of its utter adequateness, devoid of emotion and character.
But still somehow, I find beauty in this image. In the textures, grain, mood, simplicity and its focus. It’s just a leaf with nothing else in it. There is no technical difficulty or attempt to divert focus by implementing the vast number of photographic principles. It’s an image of a leaf. That is all and it catches your eye. The emptiness of the image, stripped of technical knowledge makes you hesitate and look deeper into the network of veins and you ask yourself; nothing. You find yourself just looking, seeking meaning and nothing comes forth. It’s as empty as a lost government archive, yet it’s packed with info, but you do not know that. Could it be that the slight slant of the leaf is disturbing. Our brains love symmetry. There is symmetry in the design of the leaf but it is challenged by falling slightly to the right. That angle cannot be right can it. Images must be perfect. One thirds principles must be adhered to otherwise an image is no good. Like modern music, it needs drums to hold our attention, without it its classical, not entertaining and we have to think to enjoy it.
There is a void where meaning should have been. This image could have been captured in the early 1900’s, but it was not. It was born on November 2008. It never even saw film emulsion yet it looks older. There was a time that an image like this was used to teach children and students reality of life. It was amazing then, now it’s perceived as shit. Anyone presenting this image in a competition will be laughed into mediocrity.
But it was good a long time ago and yet i find it intriguing. Why?