Student Kitchen

Some of my house mates sat around our kitchen table

Some of my house mates sat around our kitchen table

I was planning on taking a picture of the lane behind my house, but thought I’d take a sly snap of my house mates before I left the kitchen. Upon looking at it afterwards I found the image could be related to a concept that I had recently read in Barthes’ Camera Lucida. 

The first aspect of the image that I found that related was the girl on the left (Anna) looking directly at the camera  ‘Now, once I feel myself observed by the lens, everything changes: I constitute myself in the process of “posing,”‘ She had noticed the picture being taken and has so adopted a more formal pose, even going so far as to start smiling, in preparation for the picture. This social behaviour that Barthes highlights, is emphasised further when we compare her body language to the others in this photo. The other two people at the table have their faces cast down, intently focusing on something else in the room, they are either caught in an active stance, or simply appear more relaxed. The man standing up is gazing at something out of shot, seemingly unaware of the photograph being taken.

Overall the image is quite a hectic one, with strong colours. I particularly liked how formal and stoic the man standing up is, as he doesn’t seem to fit in with the expressions of those sat at the table. The image also asks the reader some questions. Why is the middle seat empty? Why doesn’t the standing man sit down on it? What is he gazing at?


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