The portrait is part of a promotion shoot. The sitter is placed in what looks like an outdoor staircase. In the background we can spot buildings that have few windows. This is obviously the yard of an industrial building. We can assume that, too, because of a piece of writing that is visible in the shot, to the left of the sitter’s waist: “No escape” – this seems to be some kind of warning sign in the industrial environment this shot was taken in. The sitter is leaning with his back against a wall. He has folded his arms across his stomach and shows his left thumb sitting on his right upper arm with the thumb pointing up. He is leaning back in a relaxed fashion.
The shot is most likely lit with available light from the right; the left half of his face is nonetheless slightly obscured by shadow. There might be a bit of fill light from the left – a reflector, maybe, but not enough to cancel out the shadow. The photographer is taking this photo from a slightly higher point than the sitter’s position, thereby forcing the sitter to look up. The photographer has composed the image in such a way that the sitter is not in the centre but takes up space on the right hand side of the image.
For a portrait the image is unusally composed: Conventionally the most important object/subject of an image will be placed in the centre. Here, the photographer – either on location or during post-production – has framed/cropped the shot in such a way that sitter and writing counterbalance each other. He has also taken care that the colours in the environment match the sitter’s clothes – the blue shirt and denims work well against the blue paint of the wall. The colours of the buildings in the background are washed out due to receiving the correct kind of exposure on the main part of the image – the sitter.
What does it all mean?
We have a number of elements to look at: a) the environment/location, b) the pose; c) the vantage point of the photographer; d) the styling of the sitter; e) lighting.
And that, I am sorry to say, we will do in the next instalment of this semiotic analysis of a portrait. This post is becoming far too long. But hey, feel free to
gawk look at the lovely portrait of the even lovelier Richard Armitage. I sure will… 😉
Phew, still with me? If you have read this far, I will reward you with a glimpse of the picture that I am discussing so you can get acquainted with the object of my desire interest. We’ll plunge into him in the next posting… Cliffhanger…
I had done all my stuff for my professional practice class: I had gone out on location to shoot some interiors. I had bumped it up by a few more interiors from my own home. I downloaded it, edited it and put it through the Ps-treatment and then made a decision on how I was going to present it to college: as a mock interior design magazine. And that’s where the waiting started. I came up with a design, translated that into the design-system of my online photobook printer and sent it off – to wait and wait and wait for the result.
In the meantime I have gotten myself into another waiting game. This morning I did a wonderful shoot with a bunch of very creative people in my own house. Their project is top secret and thus I cannot disclose what we shot. And that is where impatience number 2 comes in: Sometimes you have to wait and wait and wait until you are allowed to show the images that you have taken because the clients have put a restriction on the publication of the shots. This is really hard for me because the shoot and the resulting pictures are just such fun. Can’t wait for the wait to be over.
|Posted April 18th, 2006|
|Picture content bears no relation to blog post. I just like it.|
|Can you spot the mackerel and her sprat?|