Cinema Paradiso

 

One of the unforeseen benefits of my love of photography has been the way in which it has enhanced my appreciation of another love; cinema.  I’m frequently more aware of the decisions made by the director of photography in how he or she frames their shots, their placement of subject matter, whether they shoot wide or tight etc.

The same is true to some extent with TV, especially science and nature documentaries, where cameramen seem to have been given freedom to find interesting “pick up shots” to punctuate the narrative.

Last night I watched the French film Mesrine: L’instinct de mort and was captivated by the opening sequence which was shot multi screen.  Now this is a technique that I’ve always found a little gimicky and distracting, but in this film it worked, for all of the images on-screen were different takes on the same scene, for example, a woman walking with a man following some distance behind, each shot with a shallow depth of field, but each with a different character in focus.

Other shots might show the action from opposing angles, or close up accompanied by wide shot and so on.

Anyway, it entertained me, and was short-lived enough not to detract from the film itself.

I decided to make use of the same technique to give today’s portrait a different look, but choosing a runner wasn’t a good idea – you can’t get them to stop!

A little while later I met a woman walking her two dogs who was more helpful.  She would rather I’d photographed her dogs than her, and this gave me the idea for the juxtaposition.  Ideally I’d have liked to include both of Greyhound Lover’s dogs (her choice of pseudonym), but then we are talking greyhounds!

 

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