Reflexions on work of Pellegrin
Interview with Pellegrin
Pellegrin is interviewed here about his general direction as a photojournalist and documentarian of war in particular.
Pellegrin uses in some of the images from this series, a camera angle akin to that used by Winograd on occasions in his New York street photos: an extreme camera tilt. This adds to the sense of surrealism in the image and shows that this kind of camera adjustment can severely change the interpretation of the reading of an image. Not only is the content of the image juxtaposed in an interesting way but also the camera angle itself changes more deeply the intention of the photo. Is it making light of a serious subject? Does it do justice to the theme of the photo?
Avoiding an obvious or black and white answer I would probably ask another question, which is: is the photography more informative or instructive about the situation? When a photo is taken of the lives of people in dire situations subject to the madness of war and dispute, what room is there to play with the camera? Does the surreality of the picture highlight the surreality of the situation and was this the intention of Pellegrin?
So many questions but as yet not so many answers, as I find myself presented with this theme which is relatively new. I do find it interesting and even fascinating to explore the possibility. I think for myself I would tend to think that straight representation (so called objective documentary) can always be influenced (as we have seen on many occasions) by the photographer in small and gross ways.
- Paolo, P. Bosnian children (1996) [online] https://pro.magnumphotos.com/image/PAR277498.html [accessed, February 2020]