Friday, 20 September 2013

Photograph 2 - Assignment 3: Monochrome

I again used one of Vermeer's works: this photograph was a reference to 'The Guitar Player' - Vermeer (c. 1670-1672). This time, instead of trying to faithfully recreate the scene, I chose to focus mostly on getting the lighting accurate compared to the Vermeer's painting.

   I also decided to continue with the theme of replacing old with contemporary; I changed the 'old' guitar with an electric one, so my work differentiated with Vermeer's, while simultaneously suggesting the times had changed.

   The 'imagination drawing' I had asked my subjects to draw was obviously present as the recurring theme, with a much more prominent presence compared to Photograph 1 for the assignment. This was mostly because of the brightness of the canvas (much of it was white), although the closer positioning of the canvas within the frame of the photograph was another factor. However, even though it was so imposing, I felt the drawing fitted well into the scene; it had a good relationship in the frame with the guitar player. Also I had placed the canvas on a music stand to fit in with the guitar theme.

Photograph 2 for Assignment 3: Monochrome

   I was most pleased with the quality of light in this photograph. It helped isolate the two main subjects as salient components, while throwing most of the rest of the image into deep shadow. More importantly in my opinion, was the similarity between the way the light fell on my subject's face and Vermeer's subject's face. Even though in Vermeer's painting the subject was looking in the other direction, the shadows and the expressions were similar enough to make a comparison. Black-and-white treatment worked particularly well here in adding texture to my model's face and also showing the form of the subjects - the way the main subjects fell into darkness gave the most of the form to the photograph.

   While minimalism wasn't on my mind when planning for Photograph 2, because the window lighting was quite strong in this case,
I had to make a choice whether to expose for the highlights or shadows. For me the highlights were much more important and incidentally they produced the quite attractive effect of throwing the less important areas into deep shadow. This effect was further enhanced by the black-and-white medium, which helped to show off these important highlights better. Also because so much of the scene was in shadow the photograph was quite low-key; especially compared to Photograph 1.