We have discussed the immediacy of cell phone phototography. It represents a profound sociological phenomenon. In a sense it has created very new ways of communicating emotion, and since communicating emotion is a primary objective of art, it has created new modes of art. So I was intrigued to read in Petapixel the leader “Photographer Captures Girlfriend Leading Him Around the World.”
Russian photographer Murad Osmann has taken a rare perspective, focusing on the back of his girlfriend Nataly Zakharova as she leads him all around the world. The work which you can follow on Instagram is entitled “Follow Me.” Each picture is shot from the photographer, or observer’s viewpoint, and you see Nataly’s hand as she reaches back and leads Osmann onto adventure in some dramatic world . He takes these pictures either with his IPhone or with his DSLR and then uses Camera+ software for processing.
So what you wind up with is a photographic series or essay, moments of excitement and anticipation captured in time in a way that only digital photography can provide, and you feel as if you are the photographer.
I found it curious what aspects of the images, taken as a series, grabbed my attention and in what order, First, in a vague sense was the location:London, Hong Kong, Disney Land … But then I was drawn to the hand with its distorted dominance in perspective that seemed to draw me into the adventure. Then I found myself intrigued by the ever changing color of Nataly’s nail polish. And finally, there were her dresses, which I reflexively memorized so as to see which appeared again in subsequent photos. It is all very magical. And you conclude that she has a very extensive wardrobe.
But, I believe most profound is the gesture of hand-holding. It carries an intimate and touching sense of the romantic. Is there perhaps an ancient reminder of Michaelangelo’s “Creation?” Is this question over-the-top and extreme? I don’t think that we are necessarily always conscious of the mythical allusions of images. They are so engrained in our culture as to appear almost innate. What could be more “creative” than the relationship between man and woman? And if you think that seeing biblical themes in a series of IPhone photographs exaggerated, then consider “Follow me to the snakes of Bali.”
And finally, consider what has to be viewed as the piece de resistance of the series: “Follow me to Venice.” What exactly are we to make of this image? What exactly does it mean or is it pure whimsey? And, of course, since the series continues and may be followed on Instagram, we cannot even say that it is the crowning jewel of the work.