Photoer photos guardsman

I like this photo, which I photoed in the summer of 2013, somewhere in the vicinity of Victoria Station, Victoria Street, or some such place:

I like it for lots of reasons, including that it is a fine example of the modified cliché photo. What could be more banal than a bloke photoing a guardsman, in the Buckingham Palace part of London? Yet the manner in which this scene is presented is most unusual.

Like I say, I like it. But I don’t understand it. How – and for that matter why – was that effect created, behind an office door of impeccable dullness and insignificance? They are clearly not shadows of an actual photoer and an actual guardsman, standing behind me as I photo, because where is my shadow? Are the photoer and the guardsman cardboard cut-outs? If so, the cardboard of the guardsman’s bayonet is very thin and vulnerable.

Are these just big bits of paper, stuck on the inside of the windows? Is it that straightforward? But if so, how come the shadows of the two guys seems of the same sort as the shadow of the two poles with the rope hanging in between them? Which appears to be a real shadow of a real thing, see below the shadow.

Are the two guys 3D sculptures?  But if so, why?  Why go to all that bother in such a place?

And what is that strange ghost-like thing, just to the right of the photoer?

I like puzzle photos, but I prefer it when the puzzle is soluble.

7 thoughts on “Photoer photos guardsman”

  1. Very intriguing. The ghost like thing looks to me like another photoer kneeling down to take a photo. Also look closely at the blue area below the guardsman which appears to have a number of tiny silhouettes including of the guardsman and the rope barrier. There is also some writing above the silhouettes but I can’t make out what it says.

  2. I am pretty confident from the pillars that the building is Portland House – the big brutalist building that looks like a shrunk down version of what I still call the PanAm building in New York. If you are in the vicinity you could go and see whether the images are still there though I suspect they were temporary.

  3. I’ve also just noticed that in the blue silhouettes below left of the guardsman is a bird – maybe a pelican. That is also silhouetted in light grey next to the full size guardsman. You can also see the two photographers on the left of the blue silhouettes.

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