Contemplation in Red

Panasonic GH4 with 35-100mm f/2.8
1/160 sec. F/8. ISO 200

I like visual puzzles. The more enigmatic the better. These are found enigmas, not created ones. Which makes them all the more fun.

Who is this boy? Where is he? Why is he staring down at the balloon? What is the story of the stage and screen behind him? Is that a historical statue seen vaguely through the screen, with the boy seemingly and unconsciously mimicking the statue's stance?

The answers aren't really important. The image stands on its own, and should need no explanation. That's part of its charm. It's enigmatic. 


raw image

The story of its making is simple. I was visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in mid-summer 2014 and walked though the main square, where a stage had been set up for an evening musical concert.

I found the empty stage to be visually interesting and so I started to take a few shots. Then I noticed this young boy bouncing his torpedo balloon nearby. I framed the stage and then waited for the boy to enter the frame, as he was running around quite exuberantly. 

It wasn't too many minutes until he did, and stopped his running and bouncing, staring down at the balloon as if seeing it for the first time. Almost contemplating what mischief he could get into with this wonderful new toy. I took the shot.

In the end I had no way of knowing what the boy was going to do, or even if he would end up in the frame before I got bored with waiting and moved on. But he did, and his pose was perfect in terms of creating a sense of mystery and of matching the partially concealed statue behind the screen. Luck = preparedness in the face of opportunity.


100% crop

Hardly any post processing was needed. A bit of cropping and basic tonal controls. Oh yes, and I cloned out the piece of trash seen just in front of the balloon.

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This image and its analysis may be discussed on the LuLa Forum

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