The Guy Who Just Remembered All The Things

Mr. Kramer, the human computer. A magnificent, and seemingly daunting task. After analyzing several photos, this whole tale took on an eerie atmosphere, as if Mr. Kramer is trapped in a never ending void.

Photo 10 of 15 illustrates these unnatural feelings the best. It is a picture of him locking up (or opening up) his shop at exactly the same time every morning. Some of the compositional elements that were key to this picture being a success include:

1. The action is framed by the building and sidewalk, drawing the viewer to Mr. Kramer in the center, and then to the action of unlocking/locking the door.

2. The depth is evident through the background being a busy street, blending into the horizon behind the protagonist. This creates a great depth behind Mr. Kramer, displaying that the whole world is still moving, changing, growing, while he is still in his routine – day after day – opening and closing at EXACTLY the same time.

3. This is a gesture shot, and comes at the perfect time in the series. The gesture is his relationship with the lock.

This picture creates the repetition necessary to make the viewer believe that this man really is going to be at this store, following each tradition, until he is is not longer able.

The feelings I received from this photo, after looking deep into it surprised me. It is impossible to determine a season from the picture alone; however, the color in the scene strongly suggests a more grime season: winter or fall. The wash over the photo almost makes it grayed out, draining the viewer of any good feelings that could potentially be conjured. This idea of a seasons installs the theme of repetition that the author is trying to drown Mr. Kramer in, because just like winter comes every year – Mr. Kramer follows a tight schedule. The time of the day is also very ambiguous here. He is wearing a jacket, so it must be chilly, but is this early in the morning, or just before dark? Either way, there is something dark about this ambiguity.

Was the author trying to be this ambiguous? Is this a lighthearted adventure through this man’s life – or a grim reality check on how he is muddling through an endless cycle?

-Cody

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One thought on “The Guy Who Just Remembered All The Things

  1. Cody-I also found this to be an interesting photo, although I found image 7 of 15 to be most compelling personally, I think you make a good point about this one. While this picture may leave you feeling like the author is being ambiguous, did you find that in looking at it as a part of the larger photo essay, it actually helped answer the question regarding WHY Mr. Kramer chose to live life in such a routine? Personally, I felt an empathy for him because this is something in life he can make consistent, a life that he lives disabled, this routine gives him something to be prideful about. Just curious if you saw something different overall!

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