CAN Exercise 4.1 Elliott Erwitt


Look carefully at Erwitt’s image and write some notes about how the subject matter is placed within the frame. How has Erwitt structured this image? What do you think the image is ‘saying’? How does the structure contribute to this meaning?

Erwitt, New York, New York. 1974.

In this witty posed image of a woman walking her two dogs in New York, Elliott photographs the small dog at eye-level, placing it on the rule of thirds, thereby making it the subject of the image.

This lady has wealth. She is wearing a beautiful looking coat and highly polished, expensive-looking boots and she has two dogs. These items don’t come cheap – particularly in New York. The small dog resembles a toy wearing a little coat and a hat. The large dog looks more like protection rather than a toy.

Erwitt has some affinity for dogs; they feature in many of his images. To shoot this photograph from the viewpoint of the small dog, Erwitt is inviting us to contemplate the world from that creature’s point of view. It seems like he is asking us to have empathy for this small animal.

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