Black hole sun..

Once again, Ananya Rubayat (dream_maze) produces an image that combines both dramatic visual mystery and excellent composition.

Black hole sun..

The appeal of an image such as this is that it is immediate: the minimal detail does not provide for great variation of interpretation. Yet it is sufficiently vague as to be mysterious, inviting greater study.

Compositionally, the most obvious elements are the stark contrast between the sweeping lit loops and the jet blackness that occupies most of the frame. And then, there are the delicate details of the photographer herself, in self portrait. While a few strands of hair are immediately obvious, it is the soft light on her shifting dress and one steady arm that needs to be examined closely to be understood.

This leaves the black hole sun, as per the title, to be the dominant element. Itself uncertain, looping, repetitive, it has a feeling of depth, sucking all around it in to that absolute core. The draw is inexorable – it actually feels as though it is receding – and thanks to the darker area in the lower regions of the swirls, the centre of the loop feels shifted to the right of the central dark area. This of course is a good thing, for it provides the double golden ratio balance the image demands. On the left, it is the line of the subject’s body. on the right, through the right side of the heart of the hole (about at the same level as where the light on her knee fades off).

The vertical golden ratios are equally well placed, all on the side of the photographer-model: the top such that the dominant tuft of hair is coming from the intersection between it and the horizontal; the bottom finding perfectly the level of her chest. A tertiary vertical line even runs through the hand in her lap.

Absolutely compelling.

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