Professor Michals

Category: HW1-Composition (Page 3 of 4)

Destiny Thomas – HW #1

Alex Webster – Q Train Drag Show

The photograph chosen is in a category called “Q Train Drag Show” and it’s by photographer Alex Webster (they/them). This photo shows a drag queen performing on a Q train with multiple people smiling, recording, and enjoying her performance. This photo captures a drag queen having a performance with other drag queens for the subway riders on the Q train. This drag is seen doing a death drop move while using the pole. Webster captured this move which is usually an ending pose in drag performances and you can see the look on everyone’s face being excited and having their phones out to record the moment. This is something that doesn’t happen often and was most likely cool for subway riders to see happen if they have not seen a drag performance before. Webster can be telling and showing the audience how accepting and free New York City is. You can have a drag show performance on the train stations and everyone can be loving and accepting. Webster is showing the talent drag queens have, these performances are drag queens jobs, and showcasing their art, talent, and performing can help them out. I feel happy looking at the photograph, it makes me happy seeing how accepting strangers can be on the subway for something that usually gets shamed on. I love this image because I think it’s important to show the loving and safe space of the community.

The first formal element I noticed was a frame within a frame. The subway riders are surrounding the drag queen almost in a semicircle creating a frame around her. Using this technique leads to seeing what’s in the middle and what is the most important subject of the photo, in this case, it’s the drag queen. The second formal element I noticed was leading lines. The way the drag queen is laying back and the body is a straight line down to the subway riders. My eyes go straight to the drag queen and it leads right up to what is behind her, again Webster is showing us how much drag show performances can be. The last formal element this photo shows is symmetry. The photographer used the drag queen to be the main subject of the photo and had the camera take a photo where the drag queen was right in the center and on both sides you can see the subway riders filled up equally on both sides creating a symmetrical look overall. Again this feeling can make your eyes focus on the center subject, and we will know that is the main focus of the photograph.

Composition HW1

this photo of african diaspora living in Japan where Alex webster took photograph and interviewed many people of half african and japanese. I see that alex is telling a story of mixed race person living in japan and maybe it seems that a story of trying to fit into japanese society. it seems that the photogrpaher is trying to say that be comfortable in your skin and be confident. In addition it seems that the young mixed race woman is confident and happy . once I look at this photo I look at similar things going on in the US which there people of mixed backgrounds who suffer not being accepted by one or other culture. the reason why I love this particular image because it tells somebody who is not comfortable in their skin and now is ready to show the world what she got.

certain elements that I see on in the background is leading lines that represent a place or setting that shows where subject comes from. Also i see grass as pattern i believe alex uses a grass pattern used like a curtain to show a relation what on the inside and outside of who this young mixed woman is. since the young female is has lines another element i see contrast between light and dark i believe that there a dark story and light story to this woman experience being a mixed race person and it shows light and dark

Taneisha Bailey

HW1 – Describe a photo


A studio session with the old-way vogue extraordinaire Diovanna LaBeija.

The subject in this photograph is named Diovanna LaBeija(she/her). She is demonstrating technical old-way vogue movements in a studio session with photographer Alex Webster. I believe the photographer is trying to highlight the essence and vulnerability of LaBeija posing in vogue form. This photo is saying.. look here I am, in my most natural state of being. When I observe this photograph it makes me feel in touch with my sensuality and connects me to a person(subject) who is similar in nature to myself. An artist, a person who is of color, who also identifies as a woman regardless of the other shell of our body. After all, the body is just a vessel that holds a soul. I love the red lighting and the feelings it evokes. To me it feels powerful and emotional, conveying a sense of a deep passion for her artistry. The position of her body, the look in her eyes screams “this is me” in a very confident manner.

This photograph shows formal elements including contrast of light and dark, as well as figure to ground. Alex’s use of the red lighting/color gives the photo a more dramatic feel. It has a range of tones full of deep reds and blacks with dark shadows and highlights. When we speak in terms of the figure to ground, the figure here is Diovanna and the ground is the studio background. There is more light falling in the background rather than on the subject itself. This brings a lot of debt into the photograph and really grabs the attention of the person who is viewing this photo. The relationship between the figure and the background works well and points out details of the subject’s physique and the space LaBeija is occupying. Overall Alex Webster does a great job at bringing this work of art to life in a manner that exudes notability.


The Photograph shown below called “Island of Gods – Bali,” was taken by the photographer Malin Fezihai. The photograph depicts a shirtless man and an almost shirtless woman with braided hair embracing in the dark lush green beauty of a tropical garden in Bali Indonesia. Marlin describes the couple depicted in the photograph as friends of hers. However, a more important detail that she revealed was the fact that she was the one who braided both of their hairstyles. In her post dated October 5, 2020 she describes her posting of the picture as part of her journey into her past. As a 17 year old girl, she used hair braiding to earn money for a plane ticket to New York and there began studying photography. When looking at the photograph, it has a pure sensual beauty about it – “A sort of Adam and Eve Effect.” There is the look of magnetism that emanates from her eyes and pulls you in to the photograph as if to say, “come into my garden.” The photograph’s visual effectiveness comes from her use of several elements to frame and effective photograph.

Firstly, her use of contrast to create a distinction between the beautiful brown skin and the dark lush green vegetation is extremely effective, creating a distinct foreground and background. The more pronounced areas of lighting fall on Chantal who is the female subject in the photo. The light on her face creates the perfect contrast with her piercing dark eyes. Secondly, their platted braids form patterns that interrupt the color texture of their skin. Thirdly, the braids form leading lines down the back of Teisbe, (the man in the photo) naturally following the muscles in his back. To conclude, what ultimately ties all of the elements together is the way the lighting causes the eyes to move throughout the photograph. Firstly, your eyes start looking at her eyes, follows her shoulder downward, then up towards her hand resting on his shoulder, then follows the leading lines of his braids downwards to the green tattoos on his left arm which merge seamlessly into the dark green vegetation behind them. The eyes and then re-emerge on his right arm wrapped around her waist working its way up their shoulders again. This is the kind of photograph that makes you look at it repeatedly. It almost makes you want to be them in that timeless moment embracing each other. No wonder she named the photo “Island of Gods – Bali,”

 “Island of Gods – Bali,” By Malin Fezihai

HW#1 – ES

The photo that connected with me was this one called “Nick Offerman” for the New York Times done by Christoper Gregory-Rivera. The subject is the man in the photo who is Nick Offerman, an American actor and the location seems to be a type of personal office or study because of the table, items, and location of being next to the window from my interpretation. The purpose of this photo could be for the portfolio of the actor or a shot for an upcoming movie. However what I feel Rivera is trying to say and what I think this photo says is, “Look how sophisticated and determined I am” with the location and the look of the actor’s eyes he’s trying to figure out something. As for what I love about this photo it would have to be the lighting. The use of shadows brings in more depth for the overall photo telling a more serious mood. The contrast of light and dark really makes it feel almost momentous.

I can see a couple of the formal elements that the photographer is using in the photo such as, as I already mentioned the contrast of light and dark which gives a serious tone. Another element I see is a frame within a frame with the curtains opening up just enough but not too much for the actor to highlight some level of significance. Lastly, I see a use of the rule of thirds with the head being in the center but the arm also being shown on the right side of the frame to be important with lighting. So feel this photo uses those elements well to bring a serious mood to the overall photo.

“Nick Offerman”
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