Knowing light.

Today’s offering is a piece of photolosophy – being the use of photographic imagery to emphasise a philosophical statement – from Ananya Rubayat (dream_maze).

Knowing light..

The easiest compositional point of this image to notice is the dominant triangle that frames the subject; attached to the upper edge of the frame it reaches in and secures her within the extended expanse of darkness (itself a dominant form of negative space). The gentle fall-off of illumination and the way those lines almost anchor in the corners invites the eye to stray away from the subject, but always nudges one’s attention back to the portrait.

The structure of this light, leaping from the grasped bouquet, creates wonderful shadow patterns (well, what else could we expect from beautifully chaotic hair?), and also picks out Ananya’s features in stark Chiaroscuro. Combined with the triangular revelation, this makes for an intense sense of presence, despite the lack of eye contact.

The last powerful piece of composition here is the positioning. Vertically, Ananya’s face is on the primary golden ratio (at the high-lit cheek bones). Horizontally, the positioning is as per Jenny’s decomposition shot I reviewed a few days ago: it is balanced on the golden ratio between the double ratios (1.618 : 2); just far enough off centre to feel both centred and off-centre.

An evocative self-portrait.

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