Citizen Diptych: A Senior Listener Lyric Photographic Diptych by Anna Larson (2017)
For the Citizen project, we were to focus on showing a perspective that is not our own. Based on a lyrical essay we wrote in English, we created a diptych with one side being an original photo and the other side being an excerpt from our essay shaped to the silhouette of the subject of the photo. For my project, I chose to focus on the perspective of someone with depression. I wanted my photo to capture the loneliness and emptiness that comes with having depression, and my text is a metaphor for depression. It is a common misconception that depression is just about feeling sad, but instead, it is more of the lack of feeling. It was that lack of feeling that was what I wanted to capture in the diptych.
When we went out to shoot for our photo, we were specifically doing street photography, which meant I was not able to stage a shot and had to wait until one came around naturally. I went into downtown Los Altos to shoot, and I photographed the old man who would become the subject many times while walking around. I chose this specific photo because of both the posture of the hunched old man as he looked at the newspapers and the amount of negative space that it had, both of which contributed to the feeling of loneliness. After selecting and editing my photo, I traced a black silhouette of the man onto the other side of the diptych and added in the text. I manually warped the text line by line in Photoshop, making it seem more crowded and giving it form. Most of the learning that we did was about the fundamentals of street photography and typography rather than specific tricks of Photoshop or Illustrator.