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Hector Mediavilla Photographic Series “The Congolese Sape” Essay

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Updated: Mar 20th, 2021

An image can describe different things to a viewer. Words, actions, styles, emotions, to mention a few, can be described in a single shot. A photographer can arrange a series of shots to explain an event or lifestyle. An image presents certain questions like what is in the photograph. When was the image shot? What are the intentions of the photographer before the capture? These questions evoke the viewer’s emotions and understanding. The photographer’s decision to organize the order of photographs influences the viewer’s interpretation of the image (Ada, 2006). An image carries four important phases, which include composition, the moment, the setting, and the subject of the image. The composition of an image is determined by the photographer. The moment of capture describes the scene per time. The photographer captures an image from a focal position; the decision to capture the image is influenced by the moment of capture. The subject of a photograph is determined by the photographer. The capture area is influenced by the photographer’s decisions. The selection of capture scenes, image content, and location influences the viewer’s interpretation of each photograph (Ada, 2006).

The ability to decipher an image is influenced by the content of the image. A photographer captures his or her image using a subjective or objective pattern. Location, lifestyle, event, and culture make up a photograph. Sapeur’s lifestyle is influenced by poverty and depression. A Sapeur’s photograph shows information of a devastated individual in Congo. The Sapeur group, aware of their cultural heritage and affliction, takes turns to showcase a flamboyant lifestyle through attires. The order of the photograph reveals a country ravaged by hunger, poverty, and oppression. The photograph showcases the rich cultural endowment of a ravaged country. The scenes and locations provide explicit information about the Sapeur’s daily life.

Hector Mediavilla documents different cultures and locations in a photographic order. Hector presented the Congolese culture to the admiration of its viewer. Sapeur is a local community in Congo, with little to show for their cultural heritage. People from the community reunited after a long period showcasing borrowed culture and attire. Each Sapeur believes in elegance and a true sense of culture. The people of Sapeur worked in Paris for decades, and on their return, they used the French attire to showcase their heritage. Hector Mediavilla utilized the opportunity to present an order of photographs to inform the viewers of each moment and event in the Congo. The style of dressing evokes emotions, no matter the family background or occupation. The zeal to show their elegance and style of dressing influenced Hector Mediavilla. Hector Mediavilla captured each image with a combination of composition, moment, setting, and the subject. Each photograph reveals Sapeur’s cultural heritage. The order of photographs motivates every Sapeur to work in Paris. Their return will be eventful, with a section of the community waiting to see their rich cultural attire. Thus, Hector Mediavilla used the elements of the process to explain the Congolese history.

A subjective photograph considers the viewer’s angle before the image is captured. The photographer positions the lens to focus on the character and the viewer. The opposite of this act is called an objective photograph (Barba, 2001).

Finally, the cultural heritage of a community can be revealed in a photograph. The composition of the image influences the communication process. The elements of each process determine the viewer’s interpretation of the photograph.

References

Ada, M. (2006). Composition and the basics of photography. Tamale, Ghana: Ibex Press.

Barba, D. (2001). Image quality assessment: From site errors to global appreciation of quality. London, England: Macmillan Press.

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IvyPanda. "Hector Mediavilla Photographic Series "The Congolese Sape"." March 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hector-mediavilla-photographic-series-the-congolese-sape/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Hector Mediavilla Photographic Series "The Congolese Sape"." March 20, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/hector-mediavilla-photographic-series-the-congolese-sape/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Hector Mediavilla Photographic Series "The Congolese Sape"'. 20 March.

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