A photographic exploration of contrasting emotions

Flat and stoic, this picture captures nothing more then an stone like gaze. This picture by Nicholas Nixon is part of a series in which the Brown sisters were brought together multiple times showing there growth through out the years. The black and white coloring helps to keep from being influenced by anything but there faces. I chose this image due to it looking as if they are trying to be as serious as possible.
Though they try to remain stoic and emotionless, there is something more to this image, time has imprinted wrinkles around the eye and mouth giving away the secret. Part of Nixon's photo series on the Brown Sisters, This image also in black and white to me is a stark contrast to the previous. It is now even more obvious then before the sisters are trying to keep there stoic look, but there faces betray them and we can see the years of laughter and joy they have shared.
The day beats down this blue collar west coast worker, leaving him downtrodden and looking defeated. The upward angle of the shot exaggerates the slumped posture of the man. I chose this image as i feel you can see the weight of the world is on this mans shoulders, shoulders are slumped and posture is weak. We can only imagine what he is going home to, or what he has just left.
Carefree and loving it, this women in NYC is jovial and full of life. In contrast to the previous image, this women is looking up towards the sky, happy. an eye level view helps to place you with her. Clearly shoulders are raised and there is no restraint in her laughter, this women has not a care in the world at this moment.
The ridged pensive gaze shows a young man with more on his mind then most, he has given up his freedom to serve the flag we see in the background. This image shows the burden carried by man service men and women, it is unclear what exactly has him so sullen but clearly there is a lot on his mind. His youth in contrast with the look of a man who has seen to much makes this a perfect fit to contrast the next image.
In stark contrast these two are carefree and living life to its fullest, enjoying the freedoms sacrificed by others uninhibitedly. This photo coincidently taken in the same location, same year, and by the same photographer, portrays the contextual opposite to the last image. While the young man was dressed in a uniform and stood with a stoic and reserved gaze. Here we have people who are struggling to keep there cloths on, and are carefree and uninhibited in there action.
Full of wonder this child gazes at the camera and the man behind it, curious as to what is being done. The upward angle of this shot shows the girl in a nice contrasting blue background. Also we can see another female in the background looking as if she is working, similarities make you wonder if that is her mother or a sibling. This girl feels safe and shows no signs of fear or being alone which directly contrasts our next image.
This young girl has had innocence stripped away from her and what looks like the weight of the world on her shoulders. This image is composed in such a way to highlight the eyes, which tell the story completely. The fear and sadness in the girls eyes show just how different two lives can be when compared to the last image. Is this girl all alone living on the streets, has she lost her parents, we don't know but her face tells us things are not alright.
Joyful and full of life and excitement this women poses and shares and without and ounce of restraint smile for all to see. The flat black background is perfect for this image making the face and smile draw the eyes in making her joy and happiness the main focus of this image. The body position makes you think she is hugging herself, clearly she is happy with her life and her choices. The same cannot be said for the next women.
contemplating the motivations behind life in general, the realities of most peoples normal lives are captured here. Being nude give this women a sense of carelessness emphasizing the over all context of being fed up and defeated. Her eyes gaze away from the camera and into space showing the deep thought she is trapped in. Her slumped shoulders showing a weakness and vulnerability which is also emphasized by her nudity.
overwhelmed by his emotions cups his face, supporting the weight of the thoughts in his mind. This image does a great job of drawing you into the mans world,he is alone and overwhelmed and you feel it. The composition captures the fatigue that can creep up on all of us even doing something as mundane as riding the train to or from work.
This women attempts to remain strong and up right though the weight of her reality clearly weighs on her mind, it is not acceptable to show her weakness The man in the background adds to the image by showing how even though she is trapped and overwhelmed with emotion, life goes on around her and they are unaware of her struggles. Where as the last image the man was alone and full engulfed in his sorrow, this women is resisting the sorrow and hiding her pain.
Credits: All media
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