© 2004 Norman F. Carver, Jr. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the photographer
This project by Norman Carver looks at world architecture, but how can we photographers see such an image as this an not be instantly reminded of — and even compare this to — that so-often church at Taos, New Mexico? There is a similarity of angle, of construction materials, of curved shapes. The church at Taos is so famous in photographic circles, yet this image from a world away — the Island of Siphnos, Greece — can make a metaphorical connection. It has become trite to posit that "We are all one," but how can we see such photographs and not conclude that there are at least threads of culture that bind us together.
I also enjoy the subtle dancing with tonalities Carver does in this image. Sure, we see bright, sunlight walls in contrast to those deep in the shadows, but notice how he has rendered the dark sky. No doubt this was to enhance the shapes and line of demarcation between the top of the building and the sky above. By using (we suppose) a deep red filter, Carver has reversed the tonalities of the sky from the expected light to a dramatic dark. This is, of course, a common technique we see in lot of other photographs, but so many times it is over-done and feels contrived — a bit like photographic grandstanding. Carver uses this filtering in an extremely dramatic way, but in this photograph I think it works. Dramatic, yes, but effective. The walls of the building bake in a blinding sun, and this adds, in my way of thinking, a Mediterranean feel to the image.
Norman F. Carver Jr. is featured in this LensWork Alumni Spotlight.