Rest after Work

By: Gustav Hoiland

Jul 07 2010

Category: self portrait

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Aperture:f/9
Focal Length:18mm
ISO:100
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Packed Apartment

First off, this photo isn’t meant to evoke loneliness, emptiness, the depths of despair due to inadequate home furnishings (does that exist?) etc… Rather, this is simply me laying down after my first day at work in my perhaps less than filled out new abode. Heck, when I see it I remember laying down, realizing the lighting was really fantastic, getting up, setting up camera/tripod/exposure, grabbing remote, laying back down, posing, shooting, posing, shooting and on and on. What was supposed to be a quick grab of relaxation turned into a mindracking photo shoot. Gimme a week and I’ll forget all of that stuff and see the tranquility amidst the dramatic illumination.

So the lighting’s interesting. The right wall has a big splotch of bright that fades into darkness in the top right corner, while grading into a more uniform mid-grey at its left. The ceiling’s just one big fade. The floor’s got some shadow stuff. Some of that was admittedly some vignetting in post and amplification of a certain aesthetic through other alterations.

Next thing i really like is the perspective. The viewer doesn’t seem like they’re in the same room. It’s not voyeuristic – throwing some out of focus foreground objects would achieve that in an instant. Instead it’s … I don’t know, it reminds me of the miniature rooms in the Chicago museum of art, where you peer into them and are baffled by the craftsmanship it takes to upholster a couch the size of your pinky.

Finally, the sheer blackness of the figure (yours truly) is really working for me. It’s such a heavy and dense object with sharp lines, weighing down on a big pile of soft light that won’t budge or buckle beneath my back. Next, the heater that runs along the wall. That placement was fully intentional. Corner to the subject, not that your eye starts in the bottom right (it doesn’t) – it just keeps your focus locked on the center of the image.

Furniture soon, don’t worry.

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