Surprise Favorites

Here’s a puzzler, at least for me. Last week, when we did our hard light experiments, the models wanted to see the captures. Normally, I don’t like to share raw images, but frankly, I’ll do anything to spend more time with these friends. So I uploaded the images, let Aperture process the RAW files for a few minutes, and then scrolled through them with the models gathered around the computer screens.

And here’s the puzzler: these two images, that I would have skipped over without a thought, elicited oohs and aahs from the group. Perhaps I would have ignored these pictures because I’ve been thinking about how to light eyes and there are no eyes visible. Perhaps I just have a different aesthetic sensibility (like, none!). While working on these, I grew to appreciate the one with the lips and guitar. But the disembodied nose still turns me off.

But the big lesson here might be this: I need to take a step back and review images without the filter of my project or intentions. Shooting them is just one challenge. Learning how to look at them is another.

Can lips be a window to the soul? Do rings, hat and guitar tell us as much about this woman as her eyes would tell us?

I understand how this is different from similar images featuring her eyes, but I think it would work better if more of her face or less of her nose was visible. I just find the disembodied nose distracting.

Edit on 08/06/2010: noseless version:


Filed under Composition, Lighting

3 responses to “Surprise Favorites

  1. I agree about the nose, just burn it in and the image will look great.

  2. PS. I would also get rid of the tip of the nose in the other shot.

  3. I would have also liked to see a much tighter crop on the upper shot: guitar neck, hand, cool ring, facial features in shadow.

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