152mc Working with Light: Easter Homework – 10 images – Part 1

Yousuf Karsh (1941)
Yousuf Karsh (1941)

Yousuf Karsh was a portrait photographer who achieved notable fame through his images of celebrities and well-known individuals. He used the light effectively and his style meant this light focused on his subjects face.

The above image of Winston Churchill was Karsh’s most recognisable portrait and he made use of the light available highlighting Churchill’s features. The additional light in the background of the room ensures that his subject, even with dark clothing stands out and the narrow light on his face draws the viewer’s eye where Karsh would want it most.

Muammar Quaddafi
Muammar Gaddafi

Platon developed his unique style in the studio over several years and has since gone on to photograph the worlds most influential leaders. This image of Muammar Gaddafi was taken using just a single light with a large beauty dish modifier. Once Platon has his subject seated near a dark Grey/Black backdrop he positions his light directly above and slightly in front of his subject. This creates an even light across his subject, and that light travels onwards to form the halo of light behind. The beauty dish modifies the light and gives it a very pure clean feel and accentuates the structural elements of his subjects face.

Joey Lawrence (08-14)
Joey Lawrence (08-14)

Joey Lawrence is a young self-taught photographer with an incredible vision and talent. Lawrence prefers to work on location and he travels with a medium format camera and portable studio flash. His work around the homeless in New York brought him to the attention to world and he has since pursued his own project across Africa. Still using the same methods he befriends the indigenous populations and captures them in his own way. The above image of the Hamar women and sunrise shows how he has used the artificial lighting to ensure that all the subjects are clear and well-lit. With the rising sun in the background the people would normally appear very dark or silhouetted. The additional light overpowers the sun and allows both to be present in the image. There is also a notable difference between the strobe lighting and natural lighting and this is evident through its colour and structure on the faces of his subjects.

Joel Grimes (2008)
Joel Grimes (2008)

Joel Grimes images are instantly recognisable and his technique is quite different to other images makers here. Grimes creates composite images, putting them together and blending them seamlessly into one. For the above image Grimes was tasked with shooting a professional basketball player, once he had his subject he travelled looking for locations. The above background was shot using the High Dynamic Range process and then the player was shot separately in the studio. It is import when working this way that the light all seem to be coming from the same sources. Even though Grimes’s images do not look realistic his method has real impact and his style is currently in great demand.

Juliet Margaret Cameron (1864)
Juliet Margaret Cameron (1864)

In stark contrast to the modern techniques of Joel Grimes, Juliet Margaret Cameron was also a pioneer of the photographic image. As a female she was largely spurned by her peers but she was no less remarkable. Cameron worked mostly with natural light but she created a studio in her home which allowed her to control and manipulate the light. Working in an attic room she had several windows which contained blinds. By opening and closing these blinds, including one in a roof light she was able to mold the light to suit her vision. Cameron worked in the popular pictorialst style where the photographic images would have a soft focus and would appear to mimic popular art styles of the day. This opened her work up to appeal to the greater artistic community at large and garnered increased acceptance in male dominated circles.


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