Sunday, October 23, 2016

Imperfect doves

click photo to enlarge
"Where there is perfection there is no story to tell."
Ben Okri, Nigerian author (b.1951)

Perfection is over-rated, especially in the visual arts. It can be seductive, rather like the "hook" in a pop song, but it is usually something that we tire of after being exposed to it a few times. Too often it is predictable in its completeness and that ultimately makes for an unsatisfying experience. Imperfection, on the other hand, can succeed by hinting at the perfection that might have been. The flaw in something that mars the perfection frequently becomes the focus of the piece, the thing that makes it interesting.

I was thinking about this as I processed this photograph of a line of doves on the pinnacles of an ornate building in Seville. How much more perfect and much less satisfying would it have been if all the doves had the same pose and faced the same way, and all of the pinnacles had a bird perched on it. It would simply be a picture of stacked lines, each repeating the same motif across the frame. Thankfully nature, in the form of the doves, gave the shot the imperfection that made it a more interesting image.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: White Doves, Museo de Artes y Costumbres Populares, Seville
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 150mm (300mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On