Cereal Inspiration

By: Gustav Hoiland

Sep 09 2010

Tags: ,

Category: self portrait

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Focal Length:52mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Spoon to Lips

With the hour nearing eleven and no self portraits recorded, I took a most pleasurable spoonful of cereal to the mouth and was struck by some yearning that would bring divine purpose to the night. Before taking the second bite I set up the tripods, positioned some overhead diffuser magic, and got the focus just right. I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long (couple minutes) between bites of cereal.

The first thing that strikes me is the isolation of each object here. The largely plain background (largely black, except for the dome of a skull extending into the white) separates everything. There’s a floating hand here, a hand with a bowl there, a head there, etc… And so the position and subtle interaction (spoon crossing over) of each of these elements becomes very important if the composition is to work. Hand Right is near the bottom but away from the right, while Hand Left is near to the left but far from the bottom. The head is off center, eyes just above the midpoint. Etc…

The expression is the second part that makes it work. Trust me, there were several photos in this near exact setup where the eyes really killed it. Garbaged it. Fated it to little more than a brief glimpse before clattering to the lonely depths of the recycle bin where its digital bits will be left to expire in the uncharted territory of my hard drive. And eyes are tricky. Entire expressions even more so. And that’s just working alone. Working with other living breathing organic humanoid subjects, except with certain spectacularly comfortable individuals, is all the more difficult.

Also developing a stronger fondness for the near B&W image where the skin tones barely hint at redness but are certainly not grey.

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