In Search Of The Distant Figure

analysis, landscape, other people, self-portrait

Difficult and unspectacular, the ‘Distant Figure’ is a motif that, by its very nature, demands neglect.

We expect our depictions of people to be information-rich. Distant figures withhold more than they offer. They oblige us to ask the questions that are left over when we can’t satisfy our curiosity about the depicted person’s individuality.

Distant figures occur in art, and are especially common in photography: the wider and further away the camera probes the more space it records which some stray figure might 

Garden Party with Children & a Self-Portrait

other people, self-portrait

My self-portraits explore the differences between how the camera sees the human and how eyes see the human.

One of many differences is that the camera can make exposures as brief as 1/20,000th of a second (if using a flash), or which can last for hour or days. The eye’s exposure time is much narrower, generally between 1/20th and 1/60th of a second. This is why movies are projected at a rate of 24 frames per second.

For the garden-party photo I used a simple point-and-press automatic film-camera. It was taken at