Whether or not this photo was staged or if Erwitt just happened to be at the right place at the right time is unknown. However, it is certain that it was inspired and a homage to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Decisive Moment” shot. Rule of thirds is visible and the image has a great horizon line. Just look at the crispness and clarity of the silhouetted characters. The angle of which this shot was taken gives it depth. My personally favourite is the background; from the umbrellas, the love-struck couple on the side, to the statues, the Eiffel tower, and lastly the subtle details of the city covered by mist. Wow! The mood of this photo is ironically romantic, due to settings such as the couple about to kiss in the city of love; Paris. It is a well balanced photograph and uses great lighting techniques portrayed by the reflection of the tower in the water and shadows all around. Erwitt added his own twist to the photo by placing the man leaping in the air completely irrelevant to photo settings. But of course, as usually, in a weird way, it miraculously works and adds a far more intriguing concept to the photo. I love this photo, because it leads the viewer into a fairytale world with a comical finish.
This image speaks of injustice and discrimination against “coloured” people who, given the same opportunities are no different to “white” people, which is made very clear by the separation of the drinking fountains. Evidently, the “white” fountain is portrayed as more luxurious, whereas the “coloured” fountain looks far less inferior. This emphasizes the lack of equality in race. A man is shown here bending down to take a drink and although his face is not in clear focus, his body remains clear. It looks as if he is glancing at the ‘white’ fountain to see how much better quality it is than his own. Erwitt challenges this controversial subject to convey the truth about the world in which we live in. Other than the rule of thirds, there is really nothing significant in the composition of this photograph; however it is more of the idea and moral of it that stands out and hard-hits its viewers. Originally taken in the 1950s’ within the United States, it is shocking to think that even more than 150 years after the abolition of slavery, racism is still present in our lives today.
This photo was taken in New York City, 1974. Only a great photographer can bring weirdness from an everyday situation out in a non-critical and fun way that makes the viewer appreciative of what they’re seeing. It is shown here by the way that the owner and pooch is dressed, but also through the two very different kind of dogs that are present. The angle of this photo is alike a “worm’s point of view” and close to the ground, so that the slightest detail along the road is visible. This photo is a fantastic comparison of a small dog versus a larger one. The expression on the chihuahua’s face is priceless. Erwitt was truly able to catch the naturally innocent facial on an everyday pet. It’s almost as if the small dog is acknowledging the fact of how small he really is in comparison. Personally, I think that’s what makes this photo for me. There is great balance in the photo and the light reflection off the boots in black and white is excellent. Another great piece by Elliott Erwitt, showing his love for our canine friends.