david the somnambulist,
sorry, i couldn't help but comment on this picture.
i don't know whether some directing was involved while this was shot, like in a movie set or pictorial where the boss tells everybody else where to position and what to do in sequence. whatever the case, i think the composition of this photo is just splendid.
looking at this picture, i remember staring in awe when i first saw up close the monumental spoliarium by juan luna (in case you haven't seen it, it's in the national museum). the subtle use of chiaroscuro assures the viewer of an infallible identification of the subject. the juxtaposition of action and inaction is not contrived -- even sporadic in some areas -- blurring the attention of the central subject against other objects. but the play of light and shadow will almost certainly lead the viewer to the subject, who is interestingly not even centrally located in the frame.
the monotony of color contrasts the busy traffic, as if to downplay the pervading mood of the night market. which brings our curiosity back to the subject. he doesn't seem to be stationary, but neither is he in full motion. somehow caught somewhere between a stride and a pose, he chose to become oblivious of his surroundings and manages to focus his presence directly on the viewer, piercing the darkness physically with the graduation of light. this makes him different. the subject radiates energy and force; discreetly commands attention; diaphanous against the suggested atmosphere of the night. it is a picture of certainty and ambivalence, of strength and vulnerability, of presence and transience.
I was impressed by the critique, and I appreciate that there are some people out there who actually give attention to the detail and effort I place into some of my works. By the way, there was no directing involved in this shot. If I am not in the picture, I am usually the one taking the photograph. And if I am in the picture, I usually provide the photographer with the angle to capture the desired mood and perspective. But apart from that, there is no mass directing, and I have no control whatsoever over the crowds in any of my pictures.
And also, in case you are wondering about it, here is Juan Luna's famous painting: The Spoliarium.
Re-visit the Subic Bay Christmas Festival and Night Market. You may need to register if you haven't done so already.