Posts Tagged ‘ model ’


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.


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.


We return now to Canadian photographer Sandy Phimester, and his film-based work with local models.


While I could look at the two images here independently, and comment on the strength of each’s composition, it is the combination into a diptych that has real power. With its convergent leading lines and more pronounced contrast between subject and setting, the right-side image is quicker to draw one’s attention. The female form, is side-on silhouette, is undeniably captivating. But Catherine’s pose provides the element of direction to redirect one’s attention, back to the left, and the tighter portrait.

Therein, while the contrast is between elements within the model’s appearance; a full range of tone giving depth to her form.

The balance between the two images is, itself, masterful composition. Contrasting contrasts. Both black and white, yet so very different. Both capturing the essence of Catherine’s beauty.

There is more to the composition of an image than what is within it. There is the world it occupies…

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.

Making a Splash!

Next, a picture from a Flickr contact, Bobbie Sue (faeriesdragon), who has been somewhat inactive of late.

Making a Splash!

When it comes to centring a subject, there are ways to do this effectively, and ways not to. One obvious way to pull it off is to include so much motion – so much force – in the scene that placement becomes almost irrelevant, allowing the middle of the scene to be the safest location. That technique is used here: jets of water shooting upwards as bucket-loads being dumped with gravity. That all that power is frozen in time does not matter; it is still very visible. This balanced direction holds the subject steady in the middle.

Another aspect within the image that makes it work is the use of contrast; in this case it is not within most areas (very little detail within the surfaces of the face) but between different elements of the image, and within the texture of the water; in effect a type of detail-minimalism.

Also, there is that powerful group of S-curves formed by the model, arm to leg (and a secondary using the other arm), that allows the eye to migrate around the centre of force created by the moving water. Of note also are the two lights in the rear of the scene: elements that could be considered distractive, except that their removal would lose a stabilising triangle, as they anchor the form created by the water falling from above.

Unusual, effective and playful.

Her shelter, her storm..

Continuing the rapid-fire run of posts, next up we have another offering from Ananya Rubayat (dream_maze), again demonstrating that motion within a black and white image can be stunning.

Her shelter,her storm..

There are two ways to look at this image: with the subject being either the model’s face, or the power of the spun umbrella. This duality makes for a powerful balance, as each subject is secondary to the other. It is enhanced by the contrasting luminosity between the two elements.

From the perspective of the model, this image is about uncertainty tempered by curiosity; self-preservation countered with eagerness. The model’s placement of the secondary horizontal golden ratio provides for the huge scope of negative space which assaults her “shield.” She may be beaten down, but there is a smile suggesting an indomitable spirit.

Looking at the image from the perspective of the shield, we have an expression of power in the umbrella’s circular motion. It dominates the frame, the way a weather system can create a swirl of clouds that engulfs half a continent. The model then anchors that expanse of twirling power.

Enigmatic and powerful -a great sense of balance.

Rosely Redux

Finally, we get to see an example of the work of one of the best photographers I know, when it comes to working with models and studio lighting: Andy Poupart (andy_57).

Rosely Redux

While one might get captured by Rosely’s strikingly beautiful features and held by the intensity of her gaze in this image, these features are only half the story. The model’s attributes are revealed through two elements the photographer brings to the table: powerful lighting and a composition that perfectly complements the shape and tone of the subject.

The first thing I noticed (having finally torn my eyes away from Rosely’s) was her right arm, nestled perfectly into the the bottom left corner. This plays two roles: framing – by virtue of providing an edge to the area the eyes need to explore, even though there is more to the model – and anchoring – because it provides stability to compensate for the slight diagonal body angle.

The other main element coming into play in this image is the use of negative space: Rosely’s face is entirely to the left of the middle line, and (but for the tip of her chin) entirely in the upper half of the image. There is the negative space on the right, the more populated negative space in the bottom left (negative in that it is not the primary focus of the model’s face) and even a third area in the restricted focal corner: to the left of the subject’s face.

While there are a lot of halves coming into this picture, it still manages to balance golden ratios nicely: the upper vertical primary is just under Rosely’s nose, while the right-side primary of the focal corner passes through her right eye. (Is this stretching things a little? I think not – the quartering is the dominant composition, meaning that golden ratios should come in within that segmentation, not before it.)

A starkly beautiful model, captured in a way that emphasises her features.

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