Oscar Pung  

Post Card by Oscar Pung

September 2019 - Post Card

About the Image(s)

Post Card
Came across the subject of this photo last year while going thru some old correspondence. The handwriting is on the back of an old postcard dated 1968. It was written by "X" in London to my sister in Berkeley.

The photo is a single exposure taken in window light at 10 sec, f/18, ISO 800, using a Canon 100 mm macro lens. Adjustments made in Lightroom. I took several exposures, varying f stops and the positions of the card and pen before settling on this particular composition.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
4 comments posted

Charles Ginsburgh   Charles Ginsburgh
I love this image. Its simplicity in form allows for the effective presentation of the critical elements. Technically the exposure and focus is very effective so I have no issues there. I do seem to get a bit lost in appreciating what the true subject is here. Is it the writing, or the pen that presumably creates the writing? You have positioned the pen in such a way that this point (to my eye) is a bit unclear. The amount of writing included in the image further serves to confuse the point some. Clearly the pen and the writing it creates, is the story, but who is the main player and who is the supporting cast. Here I see equal weight assigned to both, so I find myself jumping back and forth from the pen to the writing and back again without the satisfaction of "settling in" to the image as a whole.

Do the others get the same feeling or am I just being overly critical? I am open to any additional comments and thoughts here.   Posted: 09/18/2019 12:08:53

Oscar Pung   Oscar Pung
Thanks Charlie.
No, I don't think you are at all critical and I'm fascinated by your thoughts. I can't look at this photo and be completely objective as I knew the recipient very well and suspect I knew the writer "X" too but, even so, here is what I attempted to convey.

To my eye the picture is not about the pen and not about the text. It's about the act of writing, about one person communicating something to another. Little of the text is shown, so you have to imagine what the message might be. What was it that the writer liked? Who was going home? Has the correspondent set down the pen because the letter is complete or because she/he is awaiting further inspiration?

More interesting to me, the image also hints at the personality of the writer. The cursive handwriting is bold and clear, perhaps the writer is as well? And maybe a bit self-centered? Used "I" quite a bit. The fountain pen shows something of a flair.

That's my story and if anyone has a suggestion as to how I could tell it more effectively, that would be great. Just need to dig up the old postcard again!   Posted: 09/18/2019 13:51:02

Angela Chan   Angela Chan
Very interesting image, Oscar.
The first thing I see is that the pen is not being used in writing at the moment the picture was taken because the tip is not tilting downward . Is the writer taking a rest ? Why did he leave the pen on the paper instead of putting it to the side like most people ( such as I ) do ?
The shadow seems to be from a light to the right . Most sunshine come from the front so does this indicate an artificial light at night ?
This image certainly stir up our detective juice .   Posted: 09/28/2019 21:45:42
Oscar Pung   Oscar Pung
Thanks Angela. Very interesting to read your intuitions.   Posted: 09/29/2019 09:48:34