First and foremost, I would consider this image to be an establishing shot. Being toward the very beginning of the sequence, it fits the basic criteria as such. However, with an establishing shot comes a foundation for an idea or story that is being presented. This is created in the actual context of the image.
The vantage point of looking out a window onto the city subliminally represents hope. The old-looking crusty window frame and furnace which frame the photo contribute even more to this motif of hope by establishing that the “main character”, or the person who is looking out of the window, is having a tough time financially.
The actual window/window frame contributes to the photo in a structural sense as well. The conscious decision by Marchand to include a little bit of the window frame and furnace in the foreground creates an effect of an actual person sitting inside their home and looking out the window. The window itself is also a conscious decision to have an interesting aerial vantage point. The aerial vantage point coupled with this humanizing effect created by Marchand gives me the feeling that this person is looking out onto his/her city and reflecting; thinking about where he/she or the city has come from, and where he/she would like them self and the city to go in the future.
Lastly, Marchand uses the street to his advantage. The use of lines can manipulate the human eye and where our sight onto the image begins and ends. At first, I am drawn to the ground of the photo just beyond the window frame. I’m curious about the several dozen people I can see immediately. I also look around the buildings and notice some graffiti. Then I notice how all the people are walking down the street, so I follow them. Eventually, I arrive at a slight glimpse of the sky line, some smoke presumably from a factory, and I can’t quite see where the sky line meets the ground. For me, this even further contributes to the motif of hope. Much like a story and time will continue to go on, so does the street. It goes on to a point where I can hardly even decipher what it exactly is, but I know it exists.
Question: What would be one single slight change in scenery that could completely change the emotion or feeling of this image.