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Visual Analysis Of Davis's Photograph

704 words - 3 pages

Memories can be as short-lived as the moments that created them. The recollection of events and the deterioration of memories over time is a constant process that cannot be stopped. This inevitable passing of memory is fused to the inevitable passing of human life. Emily Davis’s still life photograph of wineglasses is reflective and fragmented, allowing the image to act as a metaphor for this fleeting aspect of memory through its own memory-like qualities. The photograph is also symbolic of the transience of human life through the use of the traditional symbol of the wineglass, ultimately serving as memento mori.
The word reflection refers to the production or return of an image that is created through light or through thought. This connection to the act of remembering is set up by Davis through the presence of actual reflections within her photograph. The surface the wineglasses sit upon is reflective which creates a duplicate set of wineglasses. Light is picked up within the lustrous crystal of the glasses and they partially reflect within each other. The light bouncing off of the glasses creates the phenomena of light refraction, or the bending of light. The prominence of reflection and refraction in this physical sense evokes memory through the recreation of what is real. Memory is used as a tool to preserve past realities, but memory is never an absolute preservation.
There is an extreme depth of field created by Davis within the photograph that washes everything past the foreground into a blurred ambiguity. The farther back one looks into the space created by the image, the more difficult it becomes to determine what is being observed. The foreground focus becomes the metaphorical equivalent of the relative clarity of recent memories, just as the blurred background is equated with the more distant past. This depth of field creates a sensation of time as the background of the image recesses and eventually degrades beyond readability. The image evokes an ephemeral quality—the depth of field combined with the reflective surfaces causes the image to...

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