Rear Window: A Tribute
All photos by the author
A window is a fine metaphor for a limited view for a finite time from a fixed location. This was brilliantly depicted by the classic movie “Rear Window”, made in 1954 by Alfred Hitchcock in which a professional photographer is confined to his house after injuring his leg and spends his time observing his neighbors.
In the context of stills photography, the idea of a window translates to the brief moment in which a photographer decides to click the shutter and capture the image. What the photographer thinks the picture depicts is quite likely not true or only partially true.
Whether true on not, that is the way most of us process what we see in our every day lives: take a quick look, form a fleeting impression and then move on to the next image.
In these set of pictures I am presenting what I shot and what I imagined was behind them.
1 — A pair of glasses, for a far-sighted photographer like me – are a representation of the compulsion to observe
3 — The contrast here between the man safely ensconced in and car the old beggar woman is striking
4 — This old man who tapped on the window of my car is wearing the exact same glass as I wear. Unfortunately, his were on the wrong side of the window.
5 — I was struck by the fear in the eyes of these homeless persons living on a footpath. Clearly, they are thinking that the city authorities will used the pictures for some action against them.
6 — The sheer mystery of the young eyes
7 — This window washer girl seems to look at the world differently
8 — Nothing depicts pure innocence better than the eyes of a lost puppy
9 — The child of a footpath family seems to know what is ahead of him
10 — A long way home for an old man
11 — This picture of the well-heeled children riding horses in the vicinity of garbage and poverty was poignant in its depiction of the throw of God’s dice
12 — Before the Baqr-Eid waiting to be sacrificed. Are these are tears running the mascara?
13 — This woman who stepped off a motorcycle on a crowded street in Saddar personifies grace and caring in a difficult situation
15 — If eyes are the mirror of the soul, then there is much trouble here
17 — A railway guard – once in a while the face matches exactly the stereotype image of a job
18 — Suspicion and scorn are writ large on the woman’s face as she notices me taking the picture
18 — The photographer or a voyeur?
19 — The bandaged leg defines the life of this person
20 — These little bugs play a larger part in our comfort and health than their real size would suggest!
21 — The adage of any street photographer — never keep your eyes down
The writer is an engineer by training and a social scientist by inclination.