New Explorations in Gesture
We are attuned to human gesture; hand, posture and facial expression are forms of communication. However, inanimate subjects are also imbued with inherent gesture in their lines, shapes and visual reference to known associations. Beginning to recognize gesture in everyday objects and scenes can elevate the insight in our photographs. This was the topic of a recent class, the intention of recognizing and capturing gesture in our images.
Below, consider these three examples, having literal and abstract gesture.
The shape of the road curves brings us to a place beyond, conveying our journey with emotional lightness and anticipation. In this flow, there is little resistance; even the clouds mirror the expressive grace.
I find trees to be very expressive in gesture. In this image initially, I was drawn to the overwhelming presence of nature in the form of the sky, towering over and with great power overwhelming the tree. Looking more closely at the character of the tree, 'The Little Tree', her arms spread wide, is in the process of addressing an unseen character below.
The flannel shirt below has a gesture more recognizable as human in its shape. But the feeling of the image and gesture are very different, perhaps more sinister. The gesture of the
sleeve is caught frozen on the wire, the torso twisted in such a way to imply captivity.
In just three samples, the gesture of the subject in the image conveys meaning that is much deeper than the composition itself. Being aware of such inherent characteristics can expand our visual tool chest and lead to more meaningful images. In studying gesture, I am able to imbue my subjects with emotion and personality.