05. The clue is in the title

Nearing journey’s end

This is an image in which there are only two visual elements, both of which are only partially visible to us: roughly a quarter of a face; and a fraction of what appears to be a car (automobile).

The door of the car appears to be open. The face appears to be that of an elderly person.

The image is rendered in Black and White; and is predominantly dark.

The title of the image is: Nearing journey’s end.

From the image itself, we cannot tell if the door was being opened or closed at the moment this shot was taken; but the title suggests that it was being opened and the person whose face we can (partially) see is about to get out of the vehicle. But there is another way to interpret the title – a darker way, consistent with the overall tone of the image: that the journey is not a physical but a metaphorical one; and since the person who is the subject of the story is clearly elderly, perhaps the “end” to which the title refers is the end of life’s journey. The fact that we only have a partial view of the person’s face suggests that she is already fading.

Because there is so little detail in this image, it is open to a variety of interpretations; each of which will owe its complexion to the way in which the viewer connected with it. But if the photographer has given the image a title which is more than just a record of the place and date on which it was captured, it may provide a clue to what was in his mind when he connected with the scene and decided to photograph it.

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