I have always loved some of Atget's work. Looked and looked at them in photobooks of different kind. Wondered at the light and tones. So, it came to pass that an exhibition of Atget prints, together with another of my favourites, Berenice Abbot, came to my hometown.
So, wow! This is it! Rushed off excitedly and found the exhibition. I have to say I have never been so horribly disappointed in my whole life. Fuzzy, out of focus stuff. And he just had to use the damn lens out to the limits and beyond, getting out of the illumination circle! And Berenice Abbot, while marginally better wasn't a hoot either.
But I still love Atget. In the books. And I love the ones I love, but I can't say I can get my head around all of his work. It seems to slide precariously between pure documentation (which I like) and some kind of strange "artistry" (which I can't figure). This photograph is more "artistry" to me. Too much going on. I have to hunt for a focal point or a story in this. I am also a bit disturbed by the flarey light in the upper part, compared to the relatively darker lower parts. My eyes are constantly drawn to the flarey patch on the left side of the tree. But this is where I start to think "maybe that's the whole point, this messy, obnoxious tree standing there at the pond"?
That's the wonderful thing about photography - what I love someone else can't figure at all. Same photo, different opinions.