Ellis Island Study - No. 1
Passing Lady Liberty
I have wanted to go to Ellis Island for a long time and finally got there recently, thanks to a travel gift from my generous husband.
Like millions of immigrants did, you take a ferry past the Statue of Liberty to get there. Then you embark, line up to enter the building, and climb the stairs to reach the large, vaulted main hall used for processing.
I did not intend to make a series of photos when I went, but I found myself responding to the patterns of light, and the emotion of the place, so I got out my little camera and came away with a group of studies which I will post over the next week or so.
First a couple of comments about the image of the Statue of Liberty. I love the fact that I could take this photo while on a moving boat, just holding my camera above the heads of all the tourists craning to take their own souvenir photo, and still get the details in focus! Her hands as well as the people at her feet are all in focus. Today's technology is great.
Here's what was in front of me. A lot of time it's what you don't put in the frame that makes a better photograph.
The snapshot above was what I would call a warm-up shot. It's when I start thinking about what I want to do. Am I more interested in the clamouring tourists? There were some interesting characters on our ferry. Or the cruise ships in the harbor? or Lady Liberty?
I decided it was dramatic size and iconic nature of the Statue of Liberty. So, I waited until we got closer and could see her face well. I chose to put her to the left in the frame, since most of the souvenir photos put her in the middle. And because, as painter, you are taught to give your subject some room to gaze, if you are doing a portrait.