Saturday, September 13, 2014


Some while ago, there was a photography competition entitled "Headshot" with interpretation apparently open. It could have been a photo of somebody's head, a photo of the head stamp on a cartridge. It could have been just about anything. Lacking suitable victims, Yorick was pressed into action. Yorrick never has much say in these matters. He never gets much of an opportunity - mind, if Yorick were to speak up then it would be pretty startling! As in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Yorick is devoid of life.

Yorick is a polystyrene head - not specifically of anybody. He's just a generic polystyrene head that was purchased on eBay some ten years ago. Originally he was purchased to be a model for photography practice with lighting. That was back when there was a photography business running.

The aforementioned competition was not centred around using Yorick as Yorick was in a storage unit at the time. Somewhere in the files, the competition entry still exists though where is unknown at the moment. That was a recreation of the famous execution of a Viet Cong Captain but done with a couple of GI Joes in silhouette. 

At the moment, GI Joes are unavailable as there is no ready source from which to borrow GI Joes. Thus Yorick stepped in to save the day. Today's project is a headshot done with a single light source from the side. It took a couple of attempts to nail the exposure as the trick is to expose for the lighter side and not for the darker side. Most camera meters average out the exposure which means that the whole image is visible when only a portion of it really needs to be. This is the beginning of how to make light work for you.
The first image was woefully underexposed but does show that about 3 stops of underexposure seems to be about right. It's quite possible that the above image was up to 7 stops underexposed.
The next image was lit from one side. At the point in time memory has faded so it could have been an off camera flash or it was more likely to be a Walmart desk lamp with a 40W incandescent bulb. Although I've had top of the range expensive camera flashes that cost $500 and more, the simple Walmart desk lamp costing a mere $7 with a bulb that cost a mere 90 cents produces a more pleasing image.
The color image was quite interesting but converted to B&W the 3D glasses which were blue and red become grey and look much better. The head begins to slide into darkness which is what it was all really about. I'm quite a fan of half-lighting and shadows but that's my B&W roots from when I used nothing but Ilford HP5 and Konica 3200 B&W films.

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