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(all photo's Josie Maran)
A pretty girl is one thing ... A pretty photo is another ... but a photo fit for an artwork ...?
(see the images below for my answer - but please read on first)
Really look at an image, see its potential. The centre photo above comes close, in fact, for me, had the mouth been closed and maybe the eyes averted, a classic portrait would have been well on the way.
Now take a look at the third image. It has a power and a purpose that can (and should) be exploited. But now the tricky part. Look hard at the image again, beyond the power and the figurative line. Take nothing for granted about any part of it. Because it's a photograph we tend to take it for granted that it is 'perfect' - an absolute representation of truth. But it's not. Camera lenses do strange things to their subjects be that a cathedral or a pretty girl. Think of those cathedral photo's for a moment, the converging verticals that make the walls pull in toward the centre as the image reaches from base to spire point. It shows that all lenses, even professional ones, pull their subject out of shape by some degree or other.
Look at each image again, at the proportion of Josie's head to her shoulders. In the first image, taken at a distance and with the camera height at around ribcage level, the head is in correct proportion to the shoulders. In the centre image there's a little disproportion and in the third Josie's head is actually a little on the large side. That happens a lot with close-ups, be it a hand, a breast, a head - whatever. In this case the lens level was probably just below Josie's eyes and so the converging verticals work in the opposite direction to that of the cathedral - slimming the subject from the top downward rather than bottom upward.
And it goes beyond that too. Other influences can add or take away from artistic perfection. A foot, a leg or an arm not quite perfectly aligned, a garment too many, too few or things out of context with your intended final portrayal. On and on. In the case above, Josie's arms are pulled tight in to her body, exadjerating the size of her breasts. Maybe that was the photographer's intention, but as an art work you have the choice.
there's what the image portrays to you. What do you see in your minds eye? That
will probably (hopefully!) be different for all of us.
That is where your 'art' is your own. Below right is (roughly) what I saw when this image first caught my eye ...
I have digitally
manipulated it for the purpose of this exercise, all alteration being computer
I have placed the two images side by side to help you see how big a difference a little artistic license has made.
powers of observation to find the differences
- do you agree that they enhance the image or not? - your call!
(A list appears below)
The digital alterations were:
The tilting head was straightened
The head size has been reduced
The lips closed
Additional hair to add drama
The breast line has been raised a little
need to mention the sash, the knife and the blood?
If I were to transpose this image to a painting, I would want the resulting work to be seen not just for its beauty (as was the original) but for something more too - To beg questions of the viewer:
Why the dagger?
Why is the girl not holding it by the handle?
Why is she holding it at all?
Why the blood?
Is the blood hers or someone else's?
Hoping the above will be of assistance.
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