Appraisal – George Fisk

August 8, 2013

Image: The BMX rider is perfectly positioned and blurred, adding to the sense of dystopia

South Bank, London – George Fisk

Canon EOS 30D, 17-85mm, 1/15sec at f/8, ISO 200

George took this shot on London’s South Bank, close to the Festival Hall. As a photographic location it’s got plenty to offer, with the graffiti providing the perfect backdrop for a range of subjects, whether portraits and fashion with a gritty urban edge, or skateboarders and spray painters.

Although the ‘undercroft’ is now relatively sanitised, you wouldn’t know that from George’s shot, which oozes inner-city toxicity. The colour palette is dominated by blacks, whites and browns, punctuated by desaturated reds and oranges that have stained the ground and walls like bloodstains: in the background a skull declares ‘killin time’. There’s even a puddle that seems to consist of acid.

Into this dystopian mix comes the perfectly positioned and blurred BMX rider in the lower-right corner. Too much blur and he’d have disappeared; too little and he would have become an obvious subject for the shot. Yet with a 1/15sec shutter speed George has shot it as well as he could – the rider’s ethereal presence is felt, but he doesn’t ‘become’ the photograph. What’s more remarkable is that his outfit matches the minimalist colour theme, maintaining overall harmony in an otherwise disquieting scene. It is therefore my picture of the week.

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