Archive for the ‘ Connection ’ Category

Washer Woman

Another shot from my Flickr contact Ethan‘s trip through Burma – it’s all in the little details…

Washer Woman

There are three parts to this image, though most people probably only notice the first – the most prominent – which grabs the viewer’s attention. That primary element is the subject: the washer woman, in stark silhouette, but distinct enough in form that there is no doubt what she is doing, or of her role in society. She is the balance that holds all else together: yin to society’s yang, which is reflected in the wrapping curvature of her body shape and the complementary form that is not silhouetted.

The placement of this balancing symbol perfectly on the intersection of lower primary and left-side secondary golden ratios is a clear element of mathematical balance. Though the image might still work otherwise, the impact would be nowhere near as evocative.

The second element is the secondary scene: the land beyond the lake, with its faint layering of trees: a cascade of softer shadow-silhouettes as one climbs above the secondary golden ratio that is the water’s edge, towards the far distance of the sky.

And lastly, the emptiness of one of the most powerful framing elements of all: negative space. The expanse of water fills at least half the image, and yet it is not there, but for the texture that gives it scale.

Undeniably powerful.

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The Question

When it comes to stunningly lit images of models, Andy Poupart is one of the most accomplished photographers I know; technically faultless, with a great sense of style.

Tell a story, they say. Make the elements of your image interact in a way that tells us more about what is going on that the simple placement of subject matter within a setting. With studio-based model photography, that directive is perhaps more important than ever; the seamless grey/white background provides little context of its own. There is only the model, and her interaction with the camera, or perhaps a few props.

Here, the key to the composition is that interaction. Both Pearl’s gaze, and the so-light touch of her fingertips create a connection between her and the stool. There is a sense of direction inherent in her pose; predominantly (given her height) vertical, but with a horizontal component inferred by the juxtaposition of the two subjects. That the subjects are places on the horizontal golden ratios (one almost through through the centre of the stool, the other straight down Pearl’s centre line) also helps with the interactive balance (the scene would simply not have worked as well had the spacing been based on thirds).

There are two further compositional elements that make this such a strong image: the very subtle S-curve implied from the model’s pose, with head and leg providing the offset to the clean vertical of her torso; and the cleanliness of the setting, the minimalist studio environment that provides a sense of encompassing negative space – not so much on the sides, but the emptiness behind Pearl.

A most stunning lady in red.

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