Professor Michals

HW1-Composition-Giulia Feleppa

This picture was taken by Malin Fezehai. I chose it from the portraits section on her website and unfortunately doesn’t have a title or caption (or at least I was not able to find them). In the picture a beautiful lady has been portraited while looking down on her hands (maybe holding something really tiny and not visible to the observer) sitting on one edge of a bed or couch really close to a window that shows an amazing green landscape. The picture could be telling so many stories such as about a lonely moment of the lady in her home while chilling after a long day, a moment of peace in her trip in an exotic place escaping from an heartbreaking relationship. It might be portraying an intimate conversation of the lady with nature, a moment of meditation or even the waiting time for someone or something. In between all those different interpretations I like to think that the lady is in a moment of meditation/revelation. As the picture reminds me an rnb music video, I imagine the lady singing (about her distant lover as in a romantic scene) about that peace she found in being in the nature. She seems calm and enjoying her moment of loneliness while totally lost in a deep thought. The green of the leaves right outside the window gives a sense of hope in her story. The warm light underlines the beauty of her skin. It is like she is looking from her inside world which has calm and warm tones (the brown/red/yellow shades of the pillow, of the lamp and of the window details) to a world full of hope and vitality. Bathed in the light coming from the window she seems confident in her body and maybe having a moment of revelation while thinking. Looking outside the window I got lost in the “jungle” landscape which for me doesn’t have an end and it represents an endless world of hopes for the lady. I really liked this picture from the first moment I saw it because of the contrast between the light and darkness, but also because of the contrast between the colors of the outside the window and the inside of the room which makes the picture deep and at the same time look like a photoshopped composition. 

The photographer uses more than three compositional principles. The first one I noticed immediately is the contrast of light and darkness where the light is used to define the silhouette of the lady and just few elements or details in the composition, leaving all the not essential elements outside. The light gives deepness to the landscape in the background, gives confidence to the lady’s body but also creates a shadow of the lady that appears huge and predominant (it seems like we can see the dark side of the main character in this picture, her dark reflection). Furthermore, the light represents the communication between the foreground (the lady and the room) with the world outside the window. Another compositional principle I noticed is the frame within a frame which is created by the darkness around the center of the picture and the second frame created by the window’s frame. The same darkness creates also a negative space from which the parts of the picture hit by the light emerge (a sort of figure to ground). Lastly the lady is pictured in one of the intersections of the horizontal and vertical lines that divide the picture in thirds. In fact, the corners of the window frame underline the subdivision in thirds. 

1 Comment

  1. rmichals

    Beautifully stated. The light makes this photo, both the contrast of the light and dark and the shape of the light creating a frame and directly our attention. While we don’t know the story and it could be any of those that you mention, it is an intimate moment where we see the woman and she does not see us or that she is being watched.

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