Source unknown – Title unknown (200X)

Make no mistake, from the standpoint of technique this image is inexcusably inept as far as execution goes–there’s neither rhyme nor reason to the composition (the slight leftward cant in combination with the proximity of the camera to the wall distracts from the action by emphasizing the visual clutter of the curtains, TV and radiator) and the focus is most likely set to infinity and as such the foreground goes a bit too soft.

For all its fumbling, the image does succeed–if I you can call it that–in several small but notable ways:

  1. It’s firmly grounded in an ephemeral moment, i.e. this couple in this room with a view of the winter landscape through the windows;
  2. Despite the idiocy of the composition, there is a sense of acknowledged and subsequently subverted voyeurism, i.e. it feels less like the couple is photographing themselves and more as if there a several other people in the room watching the events unfold and this image just happened to be snapped by the person closest to the action;
  3. The couple is clearly more interested in what’s happening between them than the fact that they have an audience, i.e. her focus on how the movements of her hand are affecting his arousal, the way he’s touching her shoulder in a manner that is both romantically possessive and simultaneously a plea not to stop what she’s doing to him. (Also, you gotta love the way his ass is clenched and the sloppy grins on both their faces.)

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