The photograph taken above is a low contrast black and white photo based on August Sander’s Master Mason, which was part of a portfolio titled, 11/8 Master Craftsmen. Sanders documented craftspeople as an intimate and typological approach to photography. For my framework, I photographed a local mason who was working on a site in my neighbourhood. He has been working and refining his crafts over 2 decades and he was the head of his team. My intention was to photograph the mason’s attention and document an interruption at work. I am interested in the way a subject can be framed by their own work and how its honesty juxtaposes the staging process of some photo-taking approaches.
I adjusted the saturation levels to achieve a low-contrast black and white photograph. I wanted to use natural light as their work highly depends on light and weather conditions. In the background, I wanted to show the process or their ultimate goal of constructing a house. I was interested in exploring the differences between the photograph of a western mason by Sanders and a local mason from Pakistan. The differences in clothing, tools, and setting is visible.
August Sander, Master Mason, 1926