Riverside by Dawson Schaad


For this analysis I chose one of my favorite photographers. Knowing him as well as I do I asked for his favorite photo he has ever taken, this being it. When I look at this photo, honestly it makes me angered. This is because I know who is pictured. Although I’ve never had a full conversation with the subject I’ve heard so many stories, some maybe rumors about them that I have made my own assumption as to what kind of person they are. If I try to look past the personality of the subject and pretend I don’t know them I experience a lot of different feelings. I sense loneliness. This person sits alone and why? Humans are a social species and rely on connections to stay alive. Maybe the subject chose to sit alone to have some quiet time. The darker look to the photo represents sadness to me though. I can see how this photo could be interpreted in a happier mood, but I always seem to catch the more sad tones. The area the subject is surrounded by seems empty and asleep. There are no more people, or even animals about. Which is a strange sight considering the photo was obviously taken in a destination open to the public. I assume this because of the bench. I suppose it could be a private park or gated residence, but for my analysis the photo is taken in a park. The subject is feeling isolated from the rest ofthe world. With nobody else in sight they truly are all alone. I get a feeling of regret from this photo. While I look at this piece longer and longer I piece together a story. The subject has made unwise decisions, pushed people away and is now left by themself. Pondering on a park bench in what looks like early evening. The reflections in the water are also represented in places we cannot see. Inside the subject’s head they are reflecting on what is happening in their world. Although the slacked positioning seems to express an unworried, relaxed state. That as well may be another way for the subject to keep people away. I believe I see myself in the subject and am projecting my own feelings onto them. I pretend nothing is wrong and deflect any accusations of being less than okay. At the same time though, I want to let everything out and often spend long periods of time alone when I am distressed. No one is allowed to see me vulnerable though. I can see those feelings in the subject. In the way the are sitting, the setting, the time of day. In almost everything I see I find a way to relate to. I think that’s really just human nature, to find ties to other humans so that we are not alone.