Clar 209 Sum 1: A view from different lenses - Indu Seeni

 “War in Hawaiian Water. Japanese Torpedoes Attack Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor” from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


In this black and white picture, the slant of the picture is what strikes me. At the bottom, the ships are lined up and orderly, but as we towards the top of the picture, the next pier is not as in line with the photograph and neither is the horizon. Typically the horizon is depicted in parallel to the dimensions of a photograph, but here it is not, which I believe reflects the disorder of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. The lines that the horizon, pier, and ships make in the top half of the photograph seem to also be depicting the fall of Pearl Harbor. This picture was taken during WWII, on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched an attack on the United States that surprised all. The change in the depiction of the horizon could also thus indicate how things would soon change for the world with the use of nuclear weapons in WWII.                                                                                                                      

“Wedding Hall” by KOO, Sung-soo in 2005

                                 This picture uses linear perspective. All of the lines in the picture are directed to the location where the marriage will take place. Furthermore, the room is bright and full of light and also utilizes many positive and vivid colors (red, white, blue, yellow); all of these elements accentuate that marriage is a happy union of two people. The ceilings of the room also have paintings with blue skies and people flying. I believe this too mean that the Gods are looking down and blessing the couple who are going to be married.                                                                                                                                                     

LIFE photo collection, Oct 18, 2001                                               This satellite photograph was taken on the day of September 11, 2001, or the day of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. This day was a symbolic day for many: a few terrorists who possessed weak weapons were able to infiltrate and traumatize the world’s most powerful country. The significance of the tragedy is reflected in this photograph, taken from space. In this image, it is difficult to make to distinguish or identify states or cities. However, what is clear is the smoke that originates from a black spot: The World Trade Center. The photograph also illustrates how small the origin of smoke is. However, the smoke travels farther away from the site of origin, and only becomes larger. The smoke signifies how the effect of the World Trade Center goes beyond New York City and that day. The event has had a lasting effect on the United States, which continues to this day.                                                                                          

“Lady Eliot Island” by Catlin Seaside Survey

                     This picture caught my attention due to its beauty. As human beings, we do not often get to see what lies underneath the ocean. The horizon and ocean level in this picture are open lines; it is not clearly defined or perfectly straight, which to me indicates that life on earth and life in the ocean do not have to be distinct entities. The colors on land are also present under the water: blue, green, gray, white. Furthermore, the ocean environment, especially the Great Barrier Reef which is depicted in this picture, is home to even more life that exists on earth. The ocean water in this picture is also clear, and we are able to see what lies underneath the ocean as clearly as what we can see above it. Overall, the vibrancy of this picture is what stands out to me the most, and I believe that the message of this photograph is positive and in support of a pure and united environment.                                                                                                                                      

“Taj Mahal” from Archaeological Survey of India

                       This black and white image of the Taj Mahal was constructed from 1632- 1648. The Taj Mahal is one of the Man made wonders of the World; it was built by Emperor Shah Jahan of the Moghul Empire, in dedication to his wife upon her death. The Taj Mahal is a symbol of love and beauty for the world. However, it is also a tomb for Shah Jahan and his wife, for the husband and wife to be united together forever, despite a physical death between them. Beyond the symbolism of the architecture, this picture depicts the closed lines and linear perspective of the Taj Mahal, all being centered and directed towards the main marble dome. The picture is also taken from a building with a window that perfectly frames the Taj Mahal. With its marble white complexion, the Taj Mahal stands out even in this black and white picture, reflecting the purity of the love with which it was built by the emperor.

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