Alain Briot's article on the home page seems to have been repeated. Someone suggested the reason is because the responses to the original post were not particularly meaningful.
Rob C raised the interesting point in another thread:
Why should pictures require to be 'meaningful'? I believe that as pictures, as distinct from propaganda, they just need to be beautiful. If anyone needs meaningful, they can buy a book. Or read here.
The current quote on the LL home page is:
"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know".
So what's going on here? I would suggest that an enduring work of art hints at numerous levels of meaning which may be intriguing but never fully resolved.
As an example, I'm going to reproduce a rather outrageous image that I've posted before, with the purpose of providing a detailed analysis, hoping that Michael or Alain Briot do not object or find it in poor taste.
The first shot, Figure 1, is the actual scene as I shot it, the Himalayan mountains at dawn, from Poon Hill, Nepal.
Figure 2 is the scene with added foreground interest.
Figure 3 is a crop of what I consider to be the central point of interest.
Figure 4 is a crop of the right-most lady who mirrors the rising sun.
What I'd like to discuss is the meaning of this 'copy & paste' job. Does it have a meaning?
Well one colleague of mine, on seeing this photo, exclaimed that it was ridiculous, totally implausible and juvenile. As a result of his comment, I began to analyse the image.
The following analysis may be taken as 'tongue in cheek' if you like, or serious if you like.
I'll enumerate and question what I see as meaningful aspects of this composite image in a critical context.
(1) The rising sun at a particular moment of 'dawn' is spectacular on the snow-bound mountain peaks. But that moment lasts for only a minute or two. I captured it.
(2) The foreground tends to lack interest, compared with the mouintains, yet the foreground does take up a large part of the composition.
(3) The introduction of other, perhaps more interesting elements, such as semi-nude ladies, would tend to redress this issue with the foreground.
(4) But how is it meaningful to have semi-nude ladies in the foreground, you might ask.
(5) There is a symbolic significance here. By inserting the ladies in the foreground, I have created a sort of 'mirror' effect; Mountains in the background, and Mountains of a different type in the foreground. This is a subtle level of meaning.
(6) There are other levels of meaning, such as: How did the photographer arrange this amazing shot? Is there an additional story of the taking of this shot? For example, I was treking with three beautiful ladies in Nepal, and I wanted to photograph them in a 'semi-nude' pose in the cold mountain air at dawn, at a height of 3200 metres. What sort of magical persuavive powers did I need?
(7) Another secret or imponderable, is the question of the true gender of these ladies. Are they true females. I won't tell you.
If you suspect they are not true females, but transexuals, then there is another level of meaning. We not only have Photoshop manipulation, but Medical manipulation, all in the one shot.
To summarize; magnificent mountains in both the background and the foreground, and two types of manipulation, photoshop maniplulation and medical manipulation.
A truly magnificent and unique image in my opinion.