Umbrellas and Lights

By: Gustav Hoiland

Aug 24 2010

Category: Uncategorized

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Focal Length:22mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Rolled Jeans

A brief bout of exploratory experimental self portraiture led to this shot among others. Then my remote died. Enough to call it a day. As far as how this came about… well, let’s just say I had no intention of shooting this when I was setting up the tripods/lights and whatnot. I shoot to test the lights, think of something, try that, shoot it a couple times, either try to perfect whatever it is or move right along to whatever else I can think of. My photographic process demands play, and lots of it.

I guess the overall attraction to this image is the contrast/interplay between the lights and darks. The bottom of the frame is blown-out white while the top is all blackety black. The umbrella is… well comparatively light, while I’m almost entirely silhouetted from the shoulders up with my head dipping into the umbrella’s concavity. Even the small stuff – my pinky versus the silver point of the umbrella.

So that’s all well and good, but the pose or whatever it is combines with those elements and makes the composition fly. I can’t speak to intelligently about it, but can say I’ve started to pay a lot more attention to how people use their body in photography to really look good. Usually the pose is unnatural, but not to such an extreme that your brain is like “That’s a strange way to stand.” Rather it’s just enough to keep your mind thinking about how good they look without critically examining why it is they strike the eye. My only regret is my right arm. It is not doing anything good for anything, except perhaps reassuring viewers that I do indeed have to arms.

Also I find the shadows on the wall to be quite interesting. Very soft shadows that blend into one another and are barely representational of that off of which they’re cast.

Sweet, sweet diffuser umbrellas.

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