Recently, I was scanning through Pinterest and I came across this photo, or maybe it came across me. I’m not sure of the title or who the photographer is so I’ve labeled it "Skating on Air" until I find out. Something struck me about this photo, the moment I saw it. Notice the skater’s clothing. Perfectly fitted for comfort. Loose but not baggy. His jeans- the perfect length but in no way tight or restricting. However, he’s also wearing a mask so he's comfortable but not too comfortable. The mask presents a subtle tension here as well as perfectly documenting our current moment. And finally, notice the position of his body- perfectly balanced. Grace and symmetry. Athlete and artist.
What about the fact he's moving from left to right? Compare the right side of the photo to the left and notice how everything changes if he’s skating the other way. On the right you have the cluster and tangle of power lines and trees and street lights and parked cars- yet our skater is leaning into it, all of it. No hesitation. No fear. If he's skating towards the left side of the photo, any tension or drama within the frame is lost. Maybe it says something else- moving away from the drama, towards the unknown? But I prefer this... Entering into, leaning towards, the fray.
Finally, there's something interesting about the placement of the skater. The young man is skating on the edge- literally. The edge of the photo and on the edge of a hill. By not framing any of the street in the photo, our skater is balanced in mid-air, amidst the clouds. Also, not seeing the street creates questions- How steep is the hill? Is there a car coming? There is a lot of information not only within the frame, but just outside of it as well. The image is striking because of what the photographer lets us see (and not see) for this split second.