A photograph that made me think – Days with my father, Philip Toledano

This photograph is part of a series focused on Toledano’s father. I view this chair as a portrait of his father, there is a mark left behind on the cushion, showing someone has recently occupied the chair. I believe the empty chair represents someone no longer present, in the case of this series this shows two sides of Toledano’s father, the grieving for his wife’s death and Toledano realising a part of his father is missing from the short term memory loss. I noticed that when this photograph is taken out of context, it is quite negative which contrasts to some of the warmer, even humorous, images in the series. The lighting is beautiful, it is soft and quiet which reflects the sensitive subject of the series however, I think there is also something artificial about the lighting as it has blue and grey tints. This photograph is one of the few in the series that does not contain Toledano’s father so, there is no direct human emotion coming through. I think both these factors, artificial lighting and no human subject, contribute to a feeling of finality surrounding the photograph.

Emma Roff

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


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