On March 11th 2014 a pre class session was held to introduce us to the subject of working with light. I was unable to attend the session so I have looked through the presentation and attempted to complete my own interpretation of the task here.
It appears that the task was to choose or be assigned an artist and then choose one of their images and see if I could analyse the image in any way.
Of the artists in the presentation I chose Philip-Lorca Dicorcia and I chose an image from his ‘Heads’ project.
The image above was made using artificial lighting. The reason I believe this as it was a street shot and everything else is very dark. To achieve this effect you need to set you camera to under expose for the rest of the environment and then use flash or continuous lighting to illuminate the specific area that you need. If you look carefully in the back ground you can just about see what looks like a red traffic light which is why I thought it was a street image. The reason I think Dicorcia has used this method is so he can isolate a face in a crowd. Most street photographers will use a shallow depth of field to isolate a person while others will shoot scenes of people. Great street photographers from Henri Cartier Bresson to Joel Meyerowitz and Elliot Erwiit to Matt Stewart have found their own unique way to bring us life on the streets and Dicorcia wanted to find his own style. His method completely isolates the person, once totally removed from all distracting elements the persons expression becomes everything. Anything that can be revealed through a persons face has a good chance of showing up using this technique.
The way he achieved this effect was by attaching some lights to a scaffolding and then waiting with a long lens nearby for people to walk through. When they did he captured them. Suddenly we have whole range of images of people lost in their everyday thoughts as they move through life from one moment to the next. The expressions were so natural and un-contrived as the subjects had no idea they were about to be photographed. Below are some more from the same project.