Insperation #4 – Celeste Sloman

Deb Haaland

Deb Haaland. Credit: Celeste Sloman for The New York Times

Out of all the photos from the women of the 116th congress taken by photographer Celeste Sloman, my absolute favorite is of congress woman Deb Haaland. The image gives off this presence of power, retaliation, and not taking no as an answer. Her facial expression and her posture being completely straight displays this sense of sternness and stoicism. Her stare demands that you give her your immediate attention. You also see her wrinkles which help demonstrate that she has been through a lot, fought a lot, that she knows what it is like to struggle. Overall she illustrates this feeling of intimidation. In portrait photo right off the bat you can tell she is separate from the background, you can identify her entire body nor does it begin to disappear further away the body gets from the source of light. This shows off her importance of being a congresswoman and law maker, a Native American one at that as well. Another thing that makes her stand out is her beige/khaki suit. The color is dull and mundane yet vibrate enough to make her pop against the background. Which is somewhat contradictory. Then we have lighting, which in my opinion it appears to be front light evident from the lack of shadows and the glare in her eyes. First off, the light makes her long hair look beautiful, as it looks silky smooth and glossy and it also makes her standout from the background. As previously stated, the light was probably in front of her, showing every single detail of Deb Haaland as possible, which again shows her importance. Due the lighting style, her image lacks contrast with light shadows. In a way the shadows are nonexistent, it’s only predominantly seen on the side of her face, her neck and wrinkles from the suit.

1 thought on “Insperation #4 – Celeste Sloman

  1. rmichals

    This is front light as you state. traditionally we also fill under the chin with this kind of butterfly lighting or clamshell lighting but here slogan does not use a fill light. I think that is to allow the shadows under the chin define a strong jawline.


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