A phototgraph that made me think – NUDE, BAIE DES ANGES, FRANCE, OCTOBER 1959 – Bill Brandt

My first thought when I look at this photo is a sense of unity. The hands are that of a man and a woman. The hand placement shows the intimacy between the couple and how they fit together to become one. The rock in which the hands are placed upon is a symbol for solidarity within their relationship. the emplacement of the hands on the rock is a metaphor for the solid foundation to their relationship.

Bill Brandt captures the bodies form by positioning the hands and angling the camera in a way that shows a look of distortion. The fact that the photograph is in black and white really emphasizes the detail in the skin and captures the viewer’s attention to the beauty of human form.

Shadows within the shot create a sense of realism and continue the beauty of the photo. The way Bill Brandt has positioned the photo- slightly off side- emphasizes on the distortion as all you can see is the fingers, where as if the hands were positioned in the middle you may be able to see the palms which would take away the confusion of the photo as the viewer would be able to see how it has been made to look like the way it does.

Louis Smith

L1 Photography, University of West England


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