Sunday, January 22, 2012

One Object; Two Images

It's winter here in St. Louis, which means it's cold and ugly outside, and gets dark early – all good reasons not to feel inspired or creative. Instead I brought my energies indoors and looked for subjects to shoot in the comfort of my warm home. These shots became the Recent Work series that I've been posting for the past few weeks.
     The most recent of the recent images began with a Pottery Barn vase and resulted in the following two interpretations.

First, the vase was shot in front of a studio light to create a high contrast silhouette, using its sinewy shape as the focus of the composition. My intention was to crop out the light box and leave a bright white background with a nearly black shape floating in the center of the photo. However, what I liked more, was the thick black borders of the full frame image with the background being softened by the ragged edge of the light box and the way it framed the hard edges of the vase.

For the second shot, I recalled a college professor's lecture about painting in chiaroscuro – letting things emerge from total darkness into the light. I quickly found the right balance of a simply beautiful shape coming into view from the blackness. While it was a pleasant image, I felt it needed some random scrape of color and movement to contrast with the perfect symmetry of the vase. I tossed in an extension chord and worked the shape until I found the right line to complement the circles.
     In these lighting conditions, the white chord took on a greenish cast – something I did not predict but nevertheless felt was the key element to making this composition work for me.
     (And this is why I'm not a commercial photographer. The client would have argued endlessly that their white chord should be white, when it's obvious to me that it should be anything BUT white.)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful image Larry! I love how even though it is a photograph, the cord appears to be moving. You gave an inanimate object life. I also really enjoyed reading about your thought process.