Homework 1: Cristal Castro

The photographer that I chose was Michael Kenna, and the photograph is called “Fumie”, which was taken in Japan. This is a black-and-white photograph with a nude Japanese woman holding a wagasa (japanese umbrella), completely covering her chest, arms, and face. Kenna used the black-and-white filter to allow the viewer to focus on the subject, which is the woman. Japanese umbrellas are usually colorful, so if the filter were to not be there, it would be a distraction. It would actually be the main focus, not the woman. The filter also adds simplicity to the composition as a whole. What I find quite interesting but also ironic about this photograph is that the woman seems to be quite shy about showing most of the top half of her body including her face when she is completely nude. I think Kenna purposely had the woman pose this way to catch the viewer’s attention, and have them thinking about it since he knows about the irony.

The elements shown in this particular photograph are figure to ground, rule of thirds, and fill the frame. The relationship between the subject and the umbrella and background makes the photograph figure to ground. The rule of thirds is shown here since the subject is almost at the center, but not exactly. The subject and the umbrella take up most of the photograph, which fill the frame.




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1 Response to Homework 1: Cristal Castro

  1. rmichals says:

    This photograph is a good example of using the contrast of light and dark to create the figure ground relationship. The woman is the brightest thing in the photograph.

    Also, this is not really what we mean when we use the term rule of thirds. In fact, I would say that Kenna doesn’t use the rule of thirds often preferring symmetry and balance but the photo Empire State building, Study 3, New York, USA, 2006 is a good example of the rule of thirds.


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