My Chosen Image

Broadway and 103 rd Street. New York (1955) William Klein

In this image you can see two boys, the older one has a gun and the younger one is looking up towards him with his hand on the older boys arm. The image is in black and white with stark contrast between the shade and tones. It follows the rule of thirds. The picture is taken head-on. The gun barrel is pointing towards the camera. You can see down the barrel. The boy’s finger is on the trigger. The photo has been taken close-up to the boys, as there is little in the background apart from some detailed brickwork on a building behind them.

This image conveys tension very well. The gun barrel points at the viewer, this is powerful, it stirs up emotion, and makes the viewer think about what it is pointing at. This image captures attention because it is full of ambiguity. It could be read in many ways with different emotions being attached to the subjects.
The boy holding the gun appears to show dominance, his face seems contorted with anger but on the other hand he could be frightened. He seems to be threatening someone or trying to scare them away. It is not clear whether he is protecting or threatening the younger boy. The younger boy is looking up to the older boy, and he seems almost impressed. His expression doesn’t seem to show fear but also he is holding his arm and might be trying to stop him. The viewer is likely to spend time trying to work out what is happening in this photo.
The stark contrast of black and white works well in combination with the subject matter. The image is strong and stirring. There is no colour to distract from the harshness and reality of the image. The close up shot of the characters means that you are more focused on the facial expressions and that is what I think conveys the most meaning in this photograph.

This is my poster for 'My Chosen Image'