Gwangju Blog

Half n Half

Half n Half
This image was taken using an old half frame film camera. Exposing only half the normal area of the frame, twice the number of shots, now 72, are exposed on each roll. I often take such opportunities to snap away, taking photos of objects and scenes that would normally not make the cut. This is also an opportunity to think about an image in relation to the one it rests next to on the roll. As each frame now contains two images, thinking of images as paired sets seems natural. It is only during the shooting process itself that the practice of representing a scene in two halves gets more difficult. This can be seen when looking at the conjoined photos above. It should be clear to most Gwangjuites where these images were taken.
The expance of treelined roofing as it extends towards the background gives up any hint of ambiguitity. However, when the relatively straightforward image of three friends leaving the ACC is placed next to its partner, the impression of this image changes. No longer are people the central focus of the image. Now, the concave roofline of the vertically-flipped image to the left intersects with itself to create a large cavernous opening at the mouth of this giant building. If stepping back, we notice the better part of a diamond shape pulling our eye back into the center of this beast. Luckily monochrome, we are not distracted by any wayward hues in this scene. Instead, the large black mouth both becons and repells us. In all honesty, this building imbibes both of these attributes. So large yet visually unobtrusive to the downtown Gwangju skyline, it nevertheless is a giant hole into which we must descend if we are to encounter the arts downtown. That being said, I am glad that it is there, not in the least for its photogenic qualities.
[Image taken with a beautiful, consumer grade Ricoh Auto Half from 1963. This was the first roll run through the camera in ages, and Kodak T-Max 100 fit the bill nicely.]
(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)