Archive for the ‘ Lighting ’ Category

photometry

Returning after a short break (at least from being featured here), we have more from compositional star Jenny Downing.

photometry

While the concept of a still life comprising a pair of empty wine glasses is nothing new, this has to be one of the best results I have seen in the area. As can be expected from Jenny, the placement of the subjects plays on golden ratios: one glass straddling the left horizontal, while the right divider sits perfectly atwixt the glazen subjects. Vertically, the primary golden ratios provide the containment for the main body of the containers, the lower being positioned at the top of the refracted patterns which perch atop the glass’ stems.

From a subject positional perspective, there is not much else to say. The image, however, has more going for it. Predominantly, this is in the form of the Chiaroscuro tone, offset by the subtler shades to be seen within the window’s light. That, negative space, balanced against the rim-lights of plates providing foreground interest, frames the subject very well, drawing the eye in to contemplate the distortion of pattern that decorates the subjects.

Perhaps the best use one can put wine glasses to…

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Irradiance

Adding a new name to those featured here, a recently added Flickr contact, Ali Azimian gets his first outing…

While this may at first appear to simply be a gorgeous portrait shot, it is far more than that. Yes, the subject is a beautiful lady, and that fact alone helps make the image appealing. But it is the right half of the image as negative space that ensures the eye is directed at the model.

The high key processing is an interesting feature, as it largely masks the subject’s features, leaving only the subtlest outline to define her nose… it becomes a process of discovery to obtain definition. This then leaves the face defined by eyes and mouth – a sharply focused triplet without distrcation, the whole wrapped in a border of mostly softly blurred hair.

A stunning entrance; subtle yet powerful.

Volleyball at Dusk

After a very long wait, here’s a rather active image from my Flickr friend Allison.

OK, let’s admire the gradient colours of the sky for a moment. It’s not like I can draw your attention away from that. Now, let’s move on to the composition that takes advantage of that ever-so-vibrant lighting…

It is really quite impressive to see that a black dot against a coloured sky – a complete absence of anything to look at – can so completely give the impression of motion and action; of tension and expectation. While the nature of silhouettes provides form without disruption, the combination of anti-detail used here ends up telling a superior story.

Mostly, this has to do with the interaction of a triplet – the players – and a triangle – between players and ball. A double dynamic using very similar elements. That the whole scene occupies only a central band of the image, bounded top and bottom by so different forms of negative space, serves only to make obvious the openness of the playing environment, lending the scene gravitas.

Something Noir

Next up in this return to posting, a stunning piece of model lighting from my friend Andy Poupart. Providing the form, the seductive Julie.

It’s quite obvious from the outset that this image breaks compositional rules. Not only is Julie positioned between the primary and secondary golden rations on the right side, her body language is providing a definite sense of movement in that same direction – through and out of the frame. And yet, the pose works powerfully in combination with the lighting and black and white processing.

In part, this is to do with the smooth yet powerful contrast across her features. Also, it is aided by the rough texture of the wall which acts as counterpoint to Julie’s soft form. That the lighting is clearly brighter out-of-frame to the right also helps provide validation for the sense of direction – dark an wild as she is, she cannot resist the light.

But the strongest element that allows the breaking of the rules to work is the arm that anchors the whole in the bottom left corner. It provides not only the anchor, but also a leading line and solid diagonal, as well as being one side of the most prominent triangle in the composition.

Another clear masterpiece.

platter

We return once more to the tabletop work of Jenny Downing, and a little alien abstraction…

platter

As with many if the images in this vein that Jenny has produced, the key to its beauty lies in a combination of factors: there is the abstraction of a simple object through a tight crop; the use of reflection to show the reality of the subject where the direct line of sight manages to remain out of focus; and strong lighting to pick out the most attractive elements of curvature.

In itself, the dominant aspects of harsh-contrast curves, abstracted as they are, would be enough to make this shot special. But add in the expert placement of the platter, ever so lightly toughing upper and left primary golden ratios, thereby creating a balance between subject and enclosing negative space, and we have pure harmony. Also, the contrast between the light lower half and the dark upper creates a subtle diptych within this soothing scene that flows generally horizontally.

Another fine example of considered placements.

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.

The hype

Finally, I get to add my friend Samia (neelgolapi) to the list of those featured in this blog; and with the blue/pink her nickname implies.

The hype

For a subject that is mostly “flat”, the controlled depth of field here is impressive. But that is a feature coming from deeper consideration: the immediate compositional brilliance lies in the placement of the elements, and the echoes in the folds. Horizontally, the bud is on the double golden ratio. Its vertical position may appear ad hoc, but it actually sits perfectly on the 45° diagonal out of the bottom left corner.

The folds are something special. The play of light and dark creates leading lines, which contain as would concentric rings. Here, though, they are misshapen, adding triangular structures to the pattern. The one enclosed by the next, creates a flow that draws the eye as inexorably as the contrast between the pink and the blue. That the folds are repeated inside the bud only adds to the draw.

Compelling

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