Stills V3

April 19, 2011

carried away

Filed under: John Ellis — zavaell @ 07:19

in Stoke Newington



  1. Hi All. This is the new guy from the Netherlands chiming in if you don´t mind me doing so. I have been introduced by Mike and I am looking forward to becoming a regular contributor soon.

    This is a really interesting photo which may be interpreted in various ways. The title “carried away” might provide a clue as to the intent of the photographer, but it is not clear cut, which is OK. It nudges the looker to interpret the scene based on own experiences and preferences. Carried away because of the balloons? Or is the shining sun which made the old lady to go out and enjoy herself (even though she does not appear to be having much fun)? She is sitting there, perhaps even contemplating her own life. The store seems to sell wedding gowns so her clients will just be just starting their lives whereas hers is largely behind her. I think that the picture gains value because of these ambiguities. It puts questions forward which each looker can answer differently. The choice of composition is also interesting. John did not place the store entrance and the lady more towards the centre of the photo and thus include less of the pavement to the right. This gives the photo an opener character, one´s eyes can travel along the street and leave the frame at the top right part. Contrary to most critics, I have no issues with that. I have enjoyed looking at this photo; it well seen and aptly captured (supposedly in a flash?).

    Cheers, Cem

    Comment by Cem — April 19, 2011 @ 20:24

  2. My initial thoughts, stimulated by the dejected posture and the possible wedding dress inside the shop, were along the lines of “the eternal bridesmaid”.

    Comment by cgcooke — April 19, 2011 @ 21:47

  3. Hi Cem – very good to welcome you to Stills. A very fine piece of analysis on your part! You’re right, the title is not clear cut but probably inspired by the balloons.

    Nice insight Chris.

    Comment by zavaell — April 20, 2011 @ 06:31

  4. I was trying to see if she had been clutching the balloons but when she drifted off they had escaped.

    Comment by Rex — April 20, 2011 @ 07:12

  5. Picking up on Chris’ comment about the dress and the lady I find the mood of the image to be rather sad. I also find her halo of balloons to be sad although I’m not sure why.

    I notice that the sit on the chair outside the shop hobby is not unique!


    Comment by Rex — April 21, 2011 @ 20:57

  6. it almost looks as if the balloon above her is the only thing holding her up. The contrast of red and blue definitely grabs your attention. The angle here gives us a peek into the store and also a good idea of the surrounding area we are situated in.

    It is usually the men that sit outside a shop (unless it is an electronics store of some sort).

    Comment by rhoehne — April 25, 2011 @ 22:08

  7. I saw this a week ago, but have been at work or on holiday and vieing by phone. My thoughts remain as when I first saw it – this is a very good photo.

    It carries real pathos and sadness – the lady with her head bowed, perhaps looking back over a life of unfulfilled dreams or sadness, contrasts with the wedding dress within the doorway that suggests hope and joy at the start of a new life. The balloons should provide an air of happiness or jollity, but seem to be completely shallow – an attempt to cover the gravity of her situation with false smiles perhaps – whilst life, as always, go right on (passing her by) just in front of her and her shop.

    Of course, she may not feel any of that, but it’s a briliant picture.

    Comment by sojournerphoto — April 29, 2011 @ 06:07

  8. Thanks for all your comments. I went on from Stoke Newington to Stamford Hill to photograph the Jewish community there – only to discover that they don’t like being photographed!!

    Comment by zavaell — April 29, 2011 @ 13:03

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at