A sense of intrigue

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Hayward Gallery, London : Canon PowerShot G7 : 1/100 : f5.0

Images do not always have to tell the whole story to draw you in. Sometimes the unspoken can create intrigue and lets the imagination of the viewer take over.

This image was taken at the Hayward Gallery in London. The exhibition’s designers wanted the audience to experience losing their sense of space and perspective and to understand what it feels like to become totally disorientated. The image depicts people groping their way-round the outside of a room filled with steam such that the only way to avoid being totally overwhelmed was to cling to the walls.

The effect of the steam was to show the hands of the people in sharp relief while blurring everything else. The effect is both eerie and provocative, almost Hitchcock in its feel. The black and white treatment helped create a sense of atmosphere with the figure on the left acting as a counter-balance to the more diffuse hand and arms of the second subject.

Finding and capturing this image taught me several lessons. Firstly, you never know when an image is going to present itself. Always have your camera with you whenever possible. Secondly, silhouettes can be incredibly provocative. They give you clues, but let the viewer create their own meaning for the image.