Exercise 5.2

I have selected an image by a photographer I like . Ernst Haas, the image below.


What am I responding to from this image? Basically the idea of colour and the confusion.

My eyes are drawn instantly to the colours on the signage then to the confusion of the reflection then back to the signs. The dark areas are last to be explored and that is when I notice the people. I see lines of colours reflected in the cars and there are no faces visible. Then the scene is whole and my brain digests the information. I think about Ernst Haas’s vantage point. Is he on a bus which has stopped at a traffic light? Is the reflection from a wing mirror ?

This image was taken in Las Vegas in 1975, it is from the series ‘In America’.

Ernst Haas was born in Vienna in 1921 he moved to America in 1951 so to me his perspective is one of a person seeing America through fresh eyes. Someone visiting and marveling at the colours and the peculiar.

My image is just an idea taken from Ernst Haas’s image.  I looked at the strongest component of the image which for me is the signage and the colours. My image was taken in Satwa, Dubai.

It is an old area of Dubai which is lit up on a night like xmas and Blackpool mixed together. No energy saving light bulbs here, its full on illuminations.   Its strange and again its wasteful but the culture here is different. Due to the hotter climate people do a lot more at night in Dubai. Shops are open till 10pm most nights and during Ramadan they are closed during the day and open till 4am.

Satwa Signs- Camera settings:- Fuji X-T1, fl 55, ISO 100, Shutter priority, shutter speed 10 sec, F14

I tried to incorporate as much colour into the frame as possible. I looked for contrasts with the greens against reds, I wanted eye catching. There is some reflections of the signs but I would of liked more.

The three sources of information for this image are available.

The information evident with in the picture,which is the Internal Context,

This is an image of brightly lit signage of shops with reflections and contrasting colours, a leading line towards the number 24 and a shopping festival sign which could be interpreted as a ‘sign of the times’ that Dubai is an open all hours for shopping.

The information surrounding the picture in its presentation which is the External Context

Date, time and location. Factual information which can not be disputed. This shot was taken at night in the Satwa on plant street.

The information about the pictures making which is the original context .

For me this means the inspiration , the influence, how you make the image. My image was influenced by Ernst Haas colour images in the ‘In America’ series.

Each of these intersects with the others along with influences and experiences of pictures.

Which context is my image with respect to Terry Barrett’s essay on Photography and Context ? I think my image has an ‘Original context’ because an idea was present at the time of making this image both physically and psychologically.

You can see the development in the contact sheet images

Contact sheets



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