A sense of intrigue

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 treatment in black and white helped create a sense of atmosphere with the full figure on the left acting as a counterbalance to the slightness of the hand and arms of the second subject.

Finding and capturing this image taught me several lessons about how I approach my photography. Firstly you never know when an image is going to present itself. I was fortunate and taught me to remind myself always to have my camera with me whenever possible. Secondly that silhouettes can be incredibly provocative. They give you clues, but let you and the viewer create your own meaning for the image.