PHOTOGRAPHY: Seeing Simple Scenes Differently

Cafeteria Seating at Schipol – ilagardien©engagé

By Ismail Lagardien

There are times when the simplest, the most every-day scene, stands out, and presents itself – intact. There were any number of these arrangements (above) at a cafeteria at Schipol Airport.

What makes photography special is that the most ordinary, the most banal scenes almost create themselves, and present themselves intact in the photographer’s mind. This, surely, is the power that lies where the creative impulse and the gesture of photography intersect, and when the photographer captures something that everyone looks at every day, but sees it differently and does something more than.

Brutalist architecture of the University of Johannesburg. ilagardien©engagé

On the beachfront, were I live in Port Elizabeth, there are everyday scenes that, when isolated from its surroundings, photography thrives, as much as it does, on decontexualisation. This is one of the reasons why photographs often need a good caption. Below is an everyday scene on the beachfront in Port Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pig Butcher Around Midnight

Malacca, Malaysia. September 2012. I woke up at around midnight. It was a long flight. I couldn’t sleep any longer. The sheet was stuck between my legs. I got dressed. I went for a walk through the backstreets. I peered into a room. And watched a butcher chop up pigs. I shot a few frames and walked away. I was awake for another two days after that.

The Pig Butcher from i lagardien on Vimeo.

If I can find the pictures on one of my old storage drives I may make a more creative presentation with sound.