Photo reviews – A dragon in front of a purple sky / Infra, infra, infra

Although May is still a long way to go, this month is the theme for our next two photos. And with May come the May fairs! There’s yet something common in the two pictures- both were taken in the infrared range. Balázs Turay’s surely got something to say about that!

A dragon in front of a purple sky

Peacefully strolling citizens watch the dragon struggling towards the sky, shackled by iron rails. They must be unaware of the fact that the photographer is using infra film, which, as opposed to panchromatic materials—showing the tree leaves in mid-to-dark-grey—, imitates a snow white winter forest even on hot summer days. Fortunately the dragon shows some motion blur. Without it, the picture would be too simple with all the people walking indifferently, not noticing the white trees, as if undisturbed by the newest hit of the May fair—thermonuclear explosion just next to the fish-your-fortune tent. It’s only the dragon who’d flee, with its few riders on its back.

Infra, infra, infra

If I find anything at all annoying in this picture, it is solely the expression on the peddler girl’s face. It is as if she were waiting for the photo to be finished at last, I-am-not-paying-any-attention-until-then, pretending-not-to-be-aware-of-the-camera. But she betrays herself with this, and thus becomes an equal figure to the little girl whom the photo is all about. The latter is the one who gets the most of the light, who stands in the exact place where the golden rule of composition dictates. The ones around and behind her are in shadow, their figures are less important, and this way they don’t divert our attention. Everything leads us inwards, to the table flooded with light. In the corners, there is darkness, as if we were peering inside a box through a hole. We just see the top of the tent which places the picture somewhere in the world: it is a fair, a travelling circus or some similar whirlabout.

Balázs Turay