Two Photographs by Emma Colman

Two Photographs by Emma Colman

Emma Colman: Two Photographs

Emma Colman is a photographer from Des Moines, IA. She studied Anthropology and Studio Art at Knox College. Emma Colman’s photography was featured as part of the Captured in Des Moines and Iowa Exhibited shows at Polk County Heritage Gallery in 2018. You can find more of Emma Colman’s film photography and digital work on her portfolio website.


A Glimpse, Just Out of Reach

Emma’s photographs hide things. There’s something that we can’t find, even within an intentional glimpse, a half-look. Emma and her subjects are in on it too.

The effect is an impression that there’s a world out there that doesn’t belong to us. The collective history of places and people live on in our background; all we get is a taste.

Emma uses light to create boundaries. She lights some subjects while leaving others in the dark. Her framing leaves some subjects partially obscured. The light becomes a character who toys with our expectation, creating a provocative atmosphere that’s ambivalent towards its subject.

The architecture here also has a personality that protects the subject matter. A cluttered room or a dark sky tell the story of a long history. We then question who has the status in these photos, the subject or the environment. What we can’t see heightens the intrigue into what we can’t know.

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