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Copyright 2019 - Laura Marco - Art Photography (c) 2015 ラウラ ㋙

Different Point of View by Laura Marco

Different Point of View by Laura Marco



Photograph by Laura Marco



Bill Jordan , Oct 21, 2014; 12:40 p.m.

I like it. My interpretation is that we are looking inside the mind of a lovestruck 'King Kong.' Perhaps that's obvious, though it could be another animal as well - possibly the 'big bad wolf' eyeing up dinner. Numberous interpretations can be made, which add to the interst of the shot for me. I find it to be technically well-executed, though on my work monitor (hey, it's lunch time),

the portion representing the eye might be a bit dark, though that does lend somewhat to the feel of this being an imagination vice actual reflection. The vignetting doesn't bother me, and actually help draw my eye toward the focal point of the shot.


Michael Linder , Oct 21, 2014; 09:55 p.m.

Bill, I agree that the image's story line has enough meat to hold a viewer's interest. Did Laura intended the presence of the young woman's reflection in the beast's eye to represent an object of affection or prey. Grist for the mill . . . I too am impressed.

Technically, I don't mind the dark areas at the corners of the eye. I think that's pretty realistic, and that works hand in hand with the tack sharp eyelids and eyebrow.


Laura Marco , Oct 22, 2014; 08:30 a.m.

First of all, I want to say I'm very flattered and fortunate to have my work in the forum to be interpreted by experienced photographers.
It is a unique opportunity for me to learn.

My intention was to make a "social critique". I wanted to make a plea for freedom in Art, to get special attention for that is being appreciated in a work.
I have not always felt acceptance with my images.
I do not know why... in all countries women do not have the same freedom of speech, behavior etc. So, I thought of a donkey as a symbol of "ignorance" (with my respect for all animals, but even in Pinocchio is a symbol of "unintelligence", as children become donkeys to go to work in the salt mines) and on the other way, a symbol of "purity" could be an angel.
The eye is the one from a very friendly donkey, I photographed near the river, in a stable.
The reading would be: "you do not understand and you misjudge an angel." This is the theme of criticism.
The damage we can do with ignorance and prejudices.

But my idea should not be an obstacle to ways of new interpretations.
It is wonderful to know what others think and feel when looking at it.
I like to know the sensations when watching this image.

Technically, I'm still learning. So recommendations are welcome.
I agree with Bill that my intention was to direct the eyes of those who are looking the image toward the reflection in the eye.

Thank you very much to all of you.


Bill Jordan , Oct 22, 2014; 10:30 a.m.


Thank you so much for responding. I've often wondered, when critiquing any piece of art, how close we get to the artist's intent. Many years ago, I took a 'Modern Poetry' class in college, where we'd often try to interpret the meaning behind the poems. I always imagined the poets, many of whom were dead, were having a good laugh looking down on us and wondering how we managed to come up with some of our interpretations. In some cases, I honestly think they just threw random words together to tease us.

I'd have never in a million years come up with the interpretation you intended nor have been able to identify the creature the eye belonged to, but the real beauty of the image, other than its pure aesthetic value, is that it is so open to interpretation, which greatly adds to its interest (at least for me).


Fred G.  Oct 22, 2014; 11:04 a.m.

Bill, were I the photographer wanting to get a particular message out, I'd learn a lot from someone saying "I'd have never in a million years come up with the interpretation you intended." It might make me rethink a lot. Photography and art in general are very interesting and all over the place in this respect. On the one hand, no good artist should ever want to completely control a viewer's response or understanding of the picture. On the other hand, part of art is communication (sometimes more loose, sometimes more specific) and if some degree of communication and being on the same page is not achieved, that can be problematic. Lots of work has no specific intent or message and that leaves things more open, but there are many compelling bodies of work and many compelling individual works that do have an expressive goal, as it were. I know I have to achieve some kind of comfortable balance between wanting my own photos to be left to the imaginations of the viewers but also wanting my own input and voice to have some degree of effectiveness. If I'm a writer and I want you to at least be able to grasp my poetry (even though it may not be as literal as my prose) I will have to use language in a way that's accessible or that can become accessible to you. Same with photos, which utilize a visual language. Photos are not all like essays that read more narratively, but when they are incomprehensible as intended, that could pose some problems in terms of any hope of sharing. Social critiques, as Laura has so kindly and genuinely put it, can be an important function of photography and other arts. And there may be plenty remaining to get from a photo even if the social critique aspect is lost on the viewer. But still, if the intention is to make a social critique, it's probably good for it to be at least loosely understood by its audience.


Bill Jordan , Oct 22, 2014; 12:30 p.m.

Totally agree Fred, and I nearly commented further on that particular aspect of the photo, but thought "I'd have never in a million years..." (as awkward as that's formed grammatically) would get the point across. If one is trying to communicate a message, then there must be some clues, even if subtle, as to what that message is. I think this particular photo stands up much better as an art piece than as social commentary for the reasons you outline - there simply aren't enough clues for the viewer to get it.

But when we create art that is intended to send a specific message, it's easy to forget that the viewer doesn't share the same perspective we had, and we can make it unintentionally difficult to read. It's much the same idea that goes into the notion that you shouldn't proof-read your own material. We often read what was intended, and don't always see what is actually on the page.


Fred G. , Oct 22, 2014; 01:24 p.m.

Bill, excellent point. This is why I so often find that non-critiques can actually be very good critiques. It's one thing to be told that you could have cropped differently or some shadows could be lightened or that you burned out some highlights. While all that can be helpful, it's also a bit pedestrian. But I've had experience where a number of people have commented on my photo and no one has mentioned something that I took for granted was apparent and somewhat crucial. As you say, I am privy to what was happening when I took the photo so I may have to really step back to be able to see what a viewer is going to see. Hearing the simplest of viewer reactions, even with no suggestions at all, can be the best critique in the world.


Laura Marco , Oct 22, 2014; 03:10 p.m.

Bill, Fred,
I find your comments really interesting.
Let's see, when an artist creates a poem or any work of art, takes into account on the one hand his/her own resources available to carry out the final aim and on the other, potential readers or viewers.
And I tried to manage it in the best way, given that one thing should not subordinate the others.
If I had only thought of my ultimate goal, "social criticism" - I would have shown the entire head of the donkey with long ears and everything, but ... the shape is irregular, there would be a distracting background.
Do you honestly think that the picture would be the same with ears and their background included? shall you notice the woman?
Limits on photographic composition put limits to my non-only goal.

There's a taste in the "subtlety" I know this is a donkey and what type of critique I'm doing, but I will not show it intentionally, because my work would clearly lost its charm.
I try to balance ultimate aim and aesthetics.
Then, when a work is created, we all hope people to like it.
Who does not expect the work to be liked by others? well ... the woman would be then in third place, in the foreground "the long ears" would stand and perhaps someone when looking at the work will laugh or think about kidding.
Perhaps people who have often seen donkeys (zoos/countryside), recognize the white ring around their eyes, so typical of them.
It is not essential for me.
Personally I think we do not understand completely any poets, prose writers ... and even with the aid of all books of literary criticism in the world.
They are complex and show to us a "piece" of their feelings.
Just a little piece.
Would it be Proust, Faulkner, Stowe etc. the same if we can read them as clearly as we read the newspaper on Sunday morning ?, no ... there is no God who understands them!. We only intuit them.
We have only hints of their thinking. Taking into account that everyone's thought is important and complex.

Coming to the point, I highlight that everyone has a very rich and varied interpretation.
Variety means wealth.
We're all different, unless everything would be so boring, in principle.

To a certain poet, water symbolizes life, but I read his/her poetry and it's a symbol of sadness for me, my interpretation is wrong? no, everything is possible.
Well, if I'd belonged to the last century, hardly anyone would know what I meant ... someone maybe, through circles next to me.
This is how we know the real intention of people of the last centuries.
Would this inconvenience worry them? I think... no.
The artist is a tightrope.
If I make too explicit criticism, would I be rejected?, would my work acquire vulgarity?.
Those big ears! would be too obvious. This angel/the woman would always play second fiddle to the ears.

When we publish a photo, a short text is allowed to request a review, I wrote: "A Different Point of View - Judging, loving, some Prejudices ... are all in the eye of the beholder, not in what he / she is looking at ".
I mean I'm not worried that my message is unique.
Anything would work. Different minds and interpretations are a treasure and enriches artworks along the years. Various interpretations create literature.

Thank you very much for the interesting comments.


Fred G. , Oct 22, 2014; 03:37 p.m.


-----  Who does not expect the work to be liked by others?


I often don't expect my work to be liked by some people. I sometimes simply want it to show them something they may not have seen, whether they like it or not. I sometimes want to challenge them or even confront them with something, which may well involve their not liking it.

------ Personally I think we do not understand completely any poets, prose writers

I agree. But, as I said, I hope for some degree of understanding, especially if I set out with my photo to make some sort of plea, as you say you did.


Fred G. , Oct 22, 2014; 03:43 p.m.

Laura, please don't misread me. I'm not wanting you to do anything you don't want to do as an artist. I'm using your original words as you expressed yourself to see if maybe you could accomplish both your artistic and your socially-oriented aims. I think there's a lot to be said for having a muse of sorts, which might be a political or social statement, and simply using that muse for inspiration to create an aesthetic work that doesn't really message the statement or message or cause that inspired you. I know I've done that and I'm sure many artists have done so. But I think it's also OK for an artist to combine aesthetics and social messaging and get a point across, not necessarily in specific literal detail, but at least on some level to express a committed point of view.


Bill Jordan , Oct 22, 2014; 04:26 p.m.


Again, appreciate your involvement in the conversation. Even had I known it was a donkey, I'd have completely missed the mark on your interpretation, as our interpretations are impacted not only by the elements of the picture but by their context within our lives. The donkey, for me, would have represented a man, as I've often heard men being disparaged as 'asses' within my social circles (often in a humorous manner). And the beautiful young woman looking somewhat forlorn and distant would represent the mistreatment that many find at the hands of man. Hmmm, maybe that's not so far from what you intended.

But you bring up another interesting point. Can an interpretation be wrong? Well, I think it can be. I don't think all art is necessarily open to any interpretation. My initial interpretation of your photo is, by all accounts, wrong. It is anything but conveying a love story. But I can blissfully hang the shot on my wall as a testament to love and be perfectly happy with it, though you, as the artist, might not be quite as pleased to not get your point across. As Fred notes, if you do want to convey a specific message, there is a better chance of doing that when there is less ambiguity, though that hardly guarantees you'll do it even then. That said, I'd rather see this shot as is and let each viewer interpret it accordingly than see any of the variations you describe. I don't necessarily want art to smack me in the face with a message. Much of its beauty is in the mystery behind its creation.


Laura Marco , Oct 22, 2014; 06:10 p.m.

Thanks to both of you, your visions open my mind...

Fred, I think you're right when you say to me that it could imply limiting ourselves if we only hope to please or be liked by others. Of course there're social situations or issues that people don't like and turn the other way, and Art is a good mean to tell them: "you don't like it, but here it is" or simply "here it is".
Sure there're not so many muses... just reality itself, and sometimes only the plain reality to face. I wish someday I could get a point across and combine both aesthetics and social messaging. It would be ideal and it would mean freedom without pre-established patterns.

Bill, really our life experience is marking us everyday and makes us to face the same reality in a different way. I do not know if it's been a good idea to get involved in this discussion, because it seems that I have broken the spell of "a testament to love."
It's hard for me to be entirely objective with the image I've got all the details in my mind, as well as the women is a self- portrait, it's me... and I have never felt abused in the hands of any man.
But ... I do believe society sets a certain moral for all its members and it is difficult to get out of it without feeling alone.
More than abandoned, she is "alone" but strong in his loneliness, a desired loneliness.
The donkey could be a man or a woman, because women sometimes are the ones who take away freedoms for women and not men.
"The mystery behind its creation", for that reason, I don't worry about the reading of this work, not really.
If I can convey my message with the elements of the picture, if not..., either I stay sad.

Thank you very much, you're very kind!


Fred G. , Oct 22, 2014; 06:51 p.m.

Laura, I really am so please to have been introduced to your photo, your portfolio, and your thoughts. It's wonderful to share our approaches and goals for this common interest we have in photography. Thanks so much for expressing your process so candidly and for being so open to this dialogue. It's a real pleasure!



Bill Jordan , Oct 23, 2014; 06:00 a.m.


In the digital age, I'm afraid one's hardware might also have an impact on one's interpretation. I literally just noticed you have wings in the shot. On two different monitors, I simply thought you had long hair. In your initial response here, I was confused by your referring to the woman as an 'angel,' but then thought perhaps you were doing so in reference to all women. Not sure how my interpretation would have differed had I noticed the wings initially, but it might have.



Laura Marco , Oct 23, 2014; 08:34 a.m.

Fred, I'm also very pleased to have exchanged my impressions with you, about this image and about photography in general. I've had a look at your portfolio and I must say it's fantastic!.
I really love the thread of your thoughts!
It's a real pleasure for me as well! thanks for all.


Laura Marco , Oct 23, 2014; 08:39 a.m.

Yes, Bill I think nowadays hardware is also important. The difference between looking through a small window, and through a large one. A small secluded room in a hotel is not the same as a room overlooking the town square.
My hardware is not so good, but I try to take it into account when looking at images, above all considering colours (calibrated) because colours also "speak" in the images.
But we always upload smaller versions of images, it should be noted that details of the original version are quite lost, less size and resolution.
I enclose a further enlarged detail of the angel.

I do not identify "women" with "angels", no way!, there are evil women and kind men and vice versa. We've got all a human common nature.
My best friends are men!. So I put the wings, because a woman in essence is not a symbol of goodness.
I think in that respect we'll agree, I'm sure.
Thanks for your comments and critique of the work, you've helped me clarify my ideas, now I know more about how to interpret the possible readings, limits that people may encounter... I should work further on this aspect to get finally my idea... this review is very useful for me.
Thanks for everything!.


Robin Smith , Oct 23, 2014; 09:59 a.m.


I'm afraid I never noticed the wings and, even when enlarged, they are hard to make out. I like the picture and to me it seems to ask a question about how the animal is perceiving what it sees. This is quite interesting and, since I saw the pic like this initially, the addition of the wings seems to detract a little since it seems a little contrived. It would seem enough (to me) for the image to make one wonder about the degree of other animals' consciousness and cognition without the extra angel angle.

I do like the image and you have done a good job of merging the two images. I have a slight nagging feeling that this is "a beauty and beast fantasy" kind of image which is perhaps a little clichéd, but I am trying to suppress these thoughts.


Laura Marco , Oct 23, 2014; 11:50 a.m.

Robin, thanks for your contribution on this work.
I think that first impressions are often not accurate.

Details are very important. I have friends who have served on juries in photography competitions and they manage a day over four hundred images! then it's easy to overlook some details.
However, if we go to a museum and see twenty works: we stop, we contemplate a good time, the place is peaceful, quiet, invites to meditation.
We do several readings of the work and wonder about dark areas or light areas, objects used.

Maybe we'll not get to the original idea that gave rise to it, but our interpretations will be deep, thoughtful... for sure.

I do not think here the wings are artificial, they are small and dark, are adapted to its surroundings.
In my opinion, I've achieved my goal because almost all interpretations agree that first of all we consider the look of the animal, we play the role of the animal. You say: "It seems to ask a question about how the animals is perceiving what it sees ..."
That's crucial: taking into account what we're seeing, through whom we're looking at, that is enough.

Keep in mind that it is not easy to fulfil an intention, in a perfect way.
And if one would read as easily at first sight ... maybe it would seem a joke, a cartoon of a joke.
Above all, it means laugh at society, laugh at ourselves. I can not battle against morals with unveiled face.
"Beauty and the Beast" is mainly for children, we already know many sides and edges of life ... our perception of life is more complex.
I'm open to all interpretations, but... I wish to highlight that details matter a lot, slow reading is essential.
I myself sleep in details.
Thanks for your positive input, very kind of you!.



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