Process of peace.

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Process of Peace.
Peace Park*
Seattle, WA
5.13.10


Assignment #2: Depth of Field

Artist’s Statement

The subject of this three-photograph series is ‘the process of peace’.

All three photographs were shot from the same angle and within the same compositional frame.  However, using different depths of field to create each picture gives each image varying compositional elements, and an overall different feel.

Each picture is divided into two parts by a horizontal line which is created where the tree-line meets the sky.  The top portions of the images are filled predominantly with a vibrant white cloud and the bottom portions of the photos, where the statue of a girl stands, is textured by the branches and leaves of the tree in the background.

In the first photograph (left to right) the fore ground is in focus.  This leads the viewers’ eye to focus on the statue of the girl holding an origami crane.  The chain of origami cranes, which lies on the statue’s left upper arm, creates an s-curved vertical line that moves upward to the statue’s right shoulder, and continues along her right arm which extends toward the sky.  This continuous line creates an upward movement within the image and focuses the eye toward the paper bird, which looks as though it is about to take flight.  The vertical line created by the budded flower in the bottom-right corner of the paragraph further creates this visual quality of movement.

The middle photograph shows the same scene but with the background in focus.  The statue is blurred and we can no longer see the detail of the statue’s hair, the paper crane necklace, nor the budded flower in the bottom-right corner.  The vertical s-curved line we see in the first image is no longer a predominant feature of this photograph.  With the background in focus, the viewer’s eye is drawn to the detail of the tree and the clouds.  This gives the image a feeling of expansiveness.  We can see more clearly what lies ahead.

In the third photograph, the background and foreground are in focus.  We are able to see the detail of the statue as well as the detail of the tree and clouds in the background.  All elements of the image are sharpened using this extended depth of field.  The viewer is able to focus on the statue in the forefront.  The vertical s-curve, as can be seen in the first photograph is present here as well; giving movement to the photograph.  The crane being held in the statue’s right hand looks as though it is about to take flight and fly toward the tree and cloud we see clearly in the distance.

In these images I wanted to convey a sense of hope, as is experienced during the process of peace – advocating for, building and maintaining peace.

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*Peace Park was the dream of Dr. Floyd Schmoe, who after winning the Hiroshima Peace Prize in 1998 used the $5,000 prize money to clear a small lot near the University of Washington.  From a pile of wrecked cars, garbage, and brush, he worked with community volunteers to build the beautiful Peace Park.

Peace Park is the current home of the Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture, created in 1990 by artist Daryl Smith. The statue is a life-size bronze of Sadako Sasaki, the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing only to die of radiation sickness at age 12.

The park was dedicated on August 6, 1990, the 45th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

(Taken from City of Seattle web site.)