The Lush White Beard

By: Gustav Hoiland

Aug 28 2010

Category: self portrait

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Focal Length:48mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Eyes Closed

My deep, and perhaps masculine, craving for a beard worthy of note led me to a project idea based around creating various facial hair scenarios carved from shaving cream. Like this “beard.” I was going to experiment with mustaches of all varieties, chops, chin adornments, etc… but after this first trial it seems like shaving cream just isn’t cut out for sculpting. I forget what I was attempting originally here, but it devolved into doing a full spread with some reasonably interesting texture. Nothing close to the bold and convincing look I had envisioned. Maybe I’ll try freezing the stuff, or superheating it…

Whatever the beard situation, the photo still has do the work of presentation. This was lit with more very basic single-external-flash lighting. No bounces, no particular angles, just soft light from the left, as shown most clearly by the shadow on the right side of the nose that goes black for just a tiny sliver at its very edge. I suppose I shot this to get some idea of how bearded future facials could be tweaked for maximum emphasis on the cream. Imagining generally dark everything with gleaming white and intimately smooth textured mock-hair.

Composition-wise I like the general lack of symmetry here. The head is tilted and off center. The shoulders are turned. The hair on the left is combed forward whilst the starboard hair is nowhere to be seen, even within the shadow.

Also the downward angle is making it happen here. I think my chin might be tilted slightly up so the facade looks relatively straight on, but looking down at the shoulders it’s clear the camera is elevated. Not entirely sure what effect this creates, beyond giving a nice anchor to the bottom of the frame, but I suspect it’d look a whole lot different if it were shot from two feet lower.

Still loving the color and tone tweaking in flash-shot images like this. Hopefully your monitor somewhat accurately (compared to my setup) shows the light blues and yellows throughout.

Dreams of hairy splendor.

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