I think this photo is a wonderful example of the “studium” and “punctum” meaning one can derive from an image. The nameable meaning to this image is easy: a sunrise in a small town. As I was the photographer of this image, I also derive a certain degree of obtuse meaning from this photograph. The obtuse meaning of this image has a number of layers for me. I distinctly recall that this photo was taken on January 1st of this year. The significance of the date coupled with the optimism associated with sunrises creates an emotional response for me because I associate my optimism going into the new year with this photo. Additionally, this was taken in my home town. I can clearly make out every barely visible business and street sign solely because the surroundings are familiar to me. On one hand this photograph represents a future, a sunrise for a year just beginning… on the other, it represents a lifetime of memories contained within the city limits.
I took an Art Appreciation course a few years ago, and we briefly touched on the artistry and methods Jackson Pollock used when creating his numbered paintings. I remember falling in love when I looked at the featured “No. 5“ in my textbook; that feeling of total jealousy and admiration I experienced when I visited the High two Decembers ago and was able to look squarely in the face of his “1A”. For some reason, Pollock’s frenzied paint splatter has always struck a chord within me. Some might look at this picture and idly scroll by, identifying it as a painting and nothing more. Some might not even consider Pollock’s work art by any means, which is again representative of the “studium” and “punctum” meanings one can draw from images. This particular photograph stirs up fond memories of my visit to the High museum in addition to memories of my Art Appreciation course and the fondness I cultivated for Pollock’s work while in that class.