Archive for February 4th, 2013

Photo Observation Week #2: Single Light Source/Shadows


2. Photo of myself, taken by Laurel Chausse in 2011.

3. Theme: Single Light Source/Shadows

4. The day before this photo was taken, I was watching a modeling show in which the models had to light themselves holding two large lamps. It didn’t seem too hard a task, but the models were struggling. It soon became clear why it was so difficult. Holding the light below my face creates a strange, non-human look. The bridge of my nose is completely in shadow, making it look as though it belongs to a shorter-nosed animal, like a cat. My cheekbones cast shadows to the sides of my eyes, which create a slightly creepy triangular eye effect, like the facemasks robbers use in the movies. My forehead is completely dark, giving the impression that I have a non-existent forehead, or at least bangs. Overall, the shadows create a mysterious, intense effect, and morph my face into something it is not. It is clear how powerfully light affects our perceptions of shapes. Faces, which seem common and unchanging, can be totally distorted by a single light.