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Stranded: A Senior Listener Lyric Photographic Diptych by Benjamin Shell (2018)

My lyrical essay explores the experiences of someone who is a Latino immigrant and the harassment they faced because of that.

The passage I chose to highlight was in regard to American culture and my interviewee’s experience. As a part of my essay, I used the metaphor of Mother Liberty welcoming in immigrants and taking care of them, an experience my interviewee felt through the introduction to American music and cinema. But the harsh realities of America would become quickly apparent to my interviewee as Mother Liberty had to leave my interviewee and tend to the other travelers, leaving my interview on their own. To demonstrate this emotion and experience, I selected an image that depicted a man on his own. This image struck me as powerful as its location adds more impact. The photo was taken in a busy metropolitan area and yet, this man is by himself and no one can be seen around him. This connected to my interviewee’s experiences as they felt that they had to face the cold realities of America on their own.

To add emphasis and focus on my subject, I choose to colorize him differently than the rest of the image. In Adobe Photoshop, I selected the man and inverse the selection as to be able to apply edits to everything but him. I made the background black and white to dilute it out the color and add focus. On my subject, I added a black and white filter as well and a soft, sepia gradient to make him stand out but not to the point where it wouldn’t fit well in the image. Continuing with experiences of my interviewee, I left a lot of negative space as I placed my subject with the text on the other half of the image. This set, with the original image, continues to deepen the emotions of solitary my interviewee felt. Related website
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