16 Mar 2018
To Capture the Kiss
The idea of kissing is abstract in the sense that the feelings associated with kissing someone are different and unique to every individual, but also in a way synonymous. In other words, there are certain feelings that are frequently associated with kissing: one popularly being nerves. However, from kiss to kiss and person to person, kissing varies in passion, sensuality, and most importantly in reaction. How does each party react to the touching of lips and is it mutual? Whether it be in a movie or a description in a book, the mere thought of kissing evokes different emotions in different people. The hackneyed saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, applies thoughtfully here in Ignacio Lehmann’s photograph. Lehmann is able to elicit in viewers a few of the many sentiments associated with kissing by capturing a visual of a matchless moment between two people. His black and white photo was published to his Facebook page “100 World Kisses” on December 4, 2015, and captioned Amsterdam, 2013. The photo was just another addition to the wildly popular collection of kissing shots taken by Lehmann from around the world. A deeper look at the photo demonstrates that through meaningful use of photographic tools such as color, focus, subject matter, framing, and lines Ignacio Lehmann captures the rare and raw emotion of his subjects, educing curiosity and reflection in viewers.
The framing and lines of Lehman’s photo put’s emphasis on the location of the kissing people. Lehman photographs two young people kissing on what seems to be a train platform in Amsterdam given the words “9 Diemen Sniep,” referencing a train destination in Dutch. Simply by including the sign with the words written on it, Lehman is able to explore the tension of the photograph and establishes an imaginative plane to create a story behind what could be happening between the two. The train platform could serve as a reference to the two subjects saying goodbye perhaps. Thus, the stiffness of each person in reaction to each other may make sense if the assumption is that this is the first and last kiss the couple is experiencing. Along with this, the verticality of the lines in the background highlight how both person’s bodies are tense and straight. Everything in the photo is very clean cut, making the scene seem cold. In contrast, the facial expressions of the two people add warmth because there is a sense of pain, but also want, in their kiss. The disparity between the mundane straightness of the background and painful warmth of the kiss evokes confusion, but also a sense of empathy in viewers. It provokes the viewer to reflect on their own bitter sweet memories. In contrast, their bodies intertwined for a kiss form a circular shape. Within the depths of a very linear world, the idea of kissing someone is not linear at all. It is often a mixture of emotions and a whirlwind feeling that could keep...