Posts Tagged ‘ Andy Poupart ’

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.

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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.

Triangles And Flowing Lines

Returning to his excellent photography of beautiful women, Andy Poupart now presents us with a piece of fine art.

Leaving aside any discussion regarding the sensuality of the subject, we have here a finely composed piece of art: light and dark, form conveyed through subtle touches of detail; a dominant diagonal, extending through tightly controlled lighting into a frame-filling triangle; and the whole thing anchored in the lower right corner.

We even have, as a bonus, the echo of parallel lines: layering.

Powerful.

Sunset Light On Four Mile Beach

There was a recent post from Andy Poupart (andy_57) that I very nearly posted. Luckily, I passed it up, and this gem, even stronger, came along.

Besides the all too obvious stunning colours captured here, three is some marvellous additional elements of composition that play into the image. Perhaps the most obvious is the triplet of stones in the lower left corner. These achieve many things at once: they are foreground interest, anchor, and the traces where the surf has run off them provide a very clear direction/leading lines. This sense of direction is supported by the foreground interest on the other side of the image, where, thanks to a suitably low shooting position, the flow-lines created by the water in the sand are an enthralling texture (view it large to see).

And so far, we have not extended any mentionable distance into the image. Going further, some of the gems of the lighting show up: the backlit wave breaking and the glowing cliff-face that finds itself reflected in the middle distance. The image is so full of detail that nothing can count as negative space. As well as the sense of direction from the lower left corner, we have a similar diagonal running the other way across the image, formed by the combination of shoreline and cliff.

Lastly, the pairing of the cliff on one side and the break in the clouds on the other, where the setting sun makes the heavens glow, act as border elements to draw the eye into the heart of the image, through the gap in the rocks.

So perfect a location, wherein one could easily abandon a soul.

Silver Surf

There is something about Four Mile Beach that leads Andy Poupart (andy_57) to endless stunning compositions.

One could easily wonder, if taking only a mathematical eye to this composition, why it works so well. The answer is quite obvious when one does not look for golden ratios: it is in the diagonal, which then bends to take the viewer deeper into the distance before breaking apart in the surf to turn rightwards again – a subtle S-curve. It is also the ark of cloud acting as a corner-borders while also, in its streaked leading edge, conveying a sense of motion that emphasises the draw of the first-mentioned curve.

If we then augment that with a dreamy texture in the immediate foreground and Chiaroscuro contrast in the near water/sand/rocks, the power is undeniable. But to temper it with the pastels of a sunset – to balance calligraphic harshness with the soft brush of evening light – truly releases the magic of the moment.

It is a perfect moment, artistically preserved.

Walking On The Moon

Alternating the themes of his posts, Andy Poupart (andy_57) takes us back to the salt flats…

The stark world of the Badwater Basin is indeed alien, very much alive in its crawling textures, organic ridges that snake hither and yon like creeper roots seeking any trace of moisture. But the stuff of life floats high above, wispy, spinning its own patterns across the blue dawn. Life and death mirrored.

The foreground is the clear winner in this composition – the draw into a larger scene, but is the prime subject also. There is no escaping that texture. It offers a few more gems in the lines it carves: the double-golden ratio (1.618 : 0.618) on the right marks the point where the largest ridge finds the edge of the frame. The dominant lines in the foreground trace out hints of triangles… incomplete in some places, warped in others. And it all ends that the golden ratio between the double golden ratios (at 2 : 1.618 from the bottom), a perfectly positioned horizon.

Above that line, like a diptych, is a separate composition, magical in its own way.

The eastern ridge is wonderfully interleaved with the light of the rising sun, creating a layered effect from what would at any other time have been no more than a solid silhouette. And that light is simply dreamy; a perfect awakening.

Verily from another world.

Liz

When it comes to model photography, one of the best I know is Andy Poupart (andy_57); he not only captures his subjects looking stunning, he adds strong composition.

There are several factors that make this image more than just a wonderfully image of an attractive girl. The first – the most obvious – is the lighting. While Liz is strongly lit all around, there is a sinuous line nearest the camera that is in shadow: her hair is ablaze on one side, her face glows on the other, yet there is still a mood of mystery in the shadow between. (Could this classify as a particular form of diptych?) This is a lighting technique used much in film – slightly confusing as it is rarely realistic – but one that really captures personality and presence.

That shadow line gives us the first instance of another feature that makes this image work so well: the S-curve. It is an emphasis of the same curve in Liz’ pose: strong but gentle tones of femininity.

The last major compositional element at play here is present no less than seven times: the triangle. The subtlest are the two halves of Liz’ face, in light and in shadow. The area of her hair and face is the third, and this is a subset of the one between hair and elbow. Two more are formed by her arms, with the last being the tight musculature of her abdomen: a powerful example of seductive physique.

Additional to this, we have the lighting, creating a blue aura behind Liz (on a perfect golden ratio line, as it happens), lifting her out of the plain darkness of the rest of the background.

Compellingly sensual.

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