Crystel Lebas Analysis
Crystel Lebas was born in France and now currently resides and works in London. In 1997 she graduated from the Royal College of Art. On an international level, Crystel Lebas has exhibited her photographs extensively including several private collections and public collections such as the Bibliothèque Nationale – Paris and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her first book, ‘Time in Space’ received a British Book Design and Production Award in 2004. Crystel Lebas’s second book ‘Between Dog and Wolf’ was published in 2006. The photograph I am looking at came from the ‘Between Dog and Wolf’ book.
I wasn’t able to find the title of this photograph; only what book it was from. It seems that the photograph was taken in the early morning, as the lighting is quite low and not yet light. Due to the light being quite low, a slow shutter speed would have been used so that image was captured clearly. Towards the background of the image, in amongst the trees, it appears that there is a mist emerging which could suggest that the time of year when this photograph was taken could be late autumn or early spring time. There is a slight curvature at the bottom of photograph, which could indicate that Crystel Lebas was taking the photograph in a slight dip or at the bottom of a slight hill as the ground dips in the middle and rises on both sides. By looking in the centre of the image, it does seem that this image was taken at the bottom of a slight hill as the angle of the ground rises more towards the back of the image. The ground is mostly covered in small ferns and towards the right of the photograph, it looks like a type of grass is also occupying the soil. Additionally, on the right of the photograph, there is a grouping of rocks and what looks like a small clearing in front of them.
Along with the title, I could not find the meaning of this photograph. Basing it on the title of the book that this image was published in; ‘Between Dog and Wolf’, this photograph could have a more evolutionary meaning of the transaction from the wolf to the dog. The wolf living in forests such like the one that has been taken in this photograph, evolving into a wide range of species, one being canines like the dog which were then domesticated and taken out of the wild. This photograph could therefore have the literal meaning of the evolution of the dog from the wolf. Following on from this, this photograph could show the emptiness within forests. The forest itself being alive through the trees and the ferns, but lacking actual animals bigger than centipedes and beetles due to the human race expanding over time, over hunting of the animals such as the boar and domestication of the dog. Perhaps this photograph was taken to show the beauty that this world still holds and that it is delicate as our over developing world pushes on the boundaries of building more cities and cutting down more wood. The colours on this photograph are very clear, greens and browns towards the lower part of the image, and more blue colours to the top of the image, almost as if they were pushing down on the other colours. This could suggest a power battle between the wolf, being represented by the greens, and the canines being represented by the blues. The wolf being pushed out of their natural habitat as the human race expanded and domesticated canines so that they thrived.
I really like this photograph. The time in which it was taken adds a feeling of a magical sense with the ‘greens’ towards the bottom of the image being the ferns and a more ‘bluey’ haze being the morning light filtering through the trees, dominating the top half of the photograph. I also like that Crystel Lebas chose this particular area to take the photograph, as the rocks to the right add a sort of heaviness to the image that wouldn’t be achieved if the image consisted of all trees. Also, the ground rises towards the back of the image indicating a slope of this particular terrain towards the mist and the blue haze of the light, which creates a more mysterious look and feel.