notice how the language of violence and the language of photography
sometimes overlap? A gun is loaded, and so is a camera. Shoot a
victim, shoot a picture. A gun is shot, and so is a roll of film.
New, auto-focus cameras are called point-and-shoot cameras by many
in the business. For those who are disturbed by such metaphors,
there are alternative ways to describe photography. A picture can
be taken and a photograph is made.
Gilles Peress traveled in Rwanda,
making pictures during a particulary grim war between two of the countrys
ethnic groups. In this photograph the realities of the conflict get almost
too close for comfort. Peress chose a point of view many photographers
might avoid. Most would move away from the figure in the center of the
frame in order to compose the picture, but Peress uses that figure to
create the composition. The other figures in the picture seem perched
on the center figures shoulders.
The tilted horizon line is a characteristic of many Peress pictures.
It lends movement to this scene, as if we are looking through a hand-held
movie camera as the photographer walks forward, following the main figure
into the frame.