Author Archives: Shaiwattie

Chris Brooks: Still Life Photography

Chris Brooks is a photographer who has shot still life and portraiture. He shot for a Jo Malone campaign, promoting a new line of fragrances. Brooks does an excellent job at capturing the unique features of each scent. He composes his shoot based on the ingredients that are used for each fragrance.

Brooks wants to bring attention to the ingredients that are in each scent, so he uses the actual ingredient in his photo shoot. Brooks also considers the color palette that he should use for each fragrance. There is a fragrance that specifically has ginger and nutmeg in it. Since that ginger and nutmeg are both similar colors, he decides to composite a warm/earth tone color palette to shoot this fragrance in the best possible way. He decides to shoot this bottle against a white background. The way he arranges the ginger behind the bottle, it allows for light to come through certain holes in between the ginger. It seems like there are two lights in use here. There is one main light that seems to be 45 degrees and a fill to bring out the ginger and nutmeg in the foreground and background.

Brooks also composed a shot for another one of Jo Malone’s fragrances. This fragrance has pomegranate in it. So he included pomegranates, some are whole; some are cut open. The photo is different from the ginger fragrance because of the color palette. This one is more dark and red. It is shot against a black background and also seems to use two lights. There is the main light off to the side and fill light to bring out anything that may get lost within the dark background.

Chris Brooks was very successful in capturing these fragrances. He personalized the shoot to each type of fragrance and included what was necessary to define the characteristics of each fragrance. The lighting successfully brought out elegant highlights on each bottle and ingredient that was shot.

Final Shoot: Dolce & Gabbana Campaign

This will be a photo shoot for Dolce & Gabbanna The One men’s fragrance. The intended audience is men who tend wear a more warm, oriental cologne. This will be a still life photo shoot. It will feature some warm and Earth tones. This will be an ad that will launched in Autumn. I will use Autumn leaves and fruits with branches and wooden textures. This is meant to be a serious or sensual tone. It is supposed to portray the masculinity and rustic nature of a man. Since that I will be photographing glass, I will shoot with the light behind the product and additional light or fill to bring out other objects in the composition. I will shoot with a dark and light background.

These images were shot by Chris Brooks. He is experienced in shooting portraits as well as still life. Some of his photos feature high contrast in colors and others are soft with low contrast. His work can be viewed here:


Richard Foster

Richard Foster’s is a photographer who has shot for clients such as Tom Ford, Bottega, Stella McCartney, and Prada. He shot for different fragrances under these famous brands. These brands are all known to be luxurious and upscale. So it was no surprise that their products be depicted as such. Foster was very successful at making the fragrances look sophisticated and luxurious. All the photos were elegant but in different ways. He was able to use the unique features of each fragrance bottle to capture a good photo.

Foster used color very well. He accentuated the vibrant pink color of the Prada bottle by adding the same striking color in the background and foreground. It looks like he may have used two lights to create the streaks of pink against a black background. He also placed the products to the left of the frame, making it a more interesting composition. I find his shoot for Bottega the most interesting because of the way he used light to create patterns around the product. This required many lights in different positions with no diffusion to create such patterns. The sharp shadows define the pattern even more and the placement of the product allows the full pattern to be shown in the frame.

His photos for Tom Ford also used sharp shadows. One shows sharp, angular shadows. There is a high contrast in the colors in both photos. The shadow that is cast by the blue bottle falls off to the side and is very angular. Foster used the reflection of the red bottle to show its elegance. His photo for Stella McCartney is stunning! He used the shape and color of the bottle to cast a very dynamic and pretty shadow. The pink and blue colors and cast in the shadow of the bottle. You can also see the cut of the bottle, similar to the cut of a diamond. This is a clever way to give off a luxurious feel.

Tim Wallace – Commercial Photography

Tim Wallace is a commercial photographer who is known for his work with motor vehicles. He has worked with many automotive brands to capture vehicles in the best possible environments with the best possible lights. His car photos all have a distinct look to them. He is able to bring out the best features of the car by placing it in an environment that conceptually captures the look of the vehicle. Wallace is very successful at showing a car that is in motion as well as one that is not.

Wallace’s use of lighting allows for a very sleek look and feel to all his photos. You can see that he depends on the light he uses to capture the perfect mood for each car. The different lightings will express the individual aesthetic of each vehicle. For some, he uses very soft light to give off very soft shadows. This is done with more luxurious brands. Other times he shows more sharp shadows to give off a different feeling. One example of this is with the racecars that he photographs. He also photographs racecars and trucks in motion. The environment of each photoshoot is also very well thought out. Every type of car that photographs is shot in a suitable environment that allows for a successful product shot.

Julia Sent – Still Life Photography

Julia Sent is photographer known for her work in still life photography. Most of her photos are inspired by Dutch still life paintings. She composes her photos using objects that have vibrant colors. Most of her photos are either of flowers, kitchen utensils, fruits, and vegetables. Her photos are stunning. She usually shoots against a dark background. The dark background really allows for the objects to stand out. The objects are arranged and are in the center of the frame. Some compositions fill the whole frame, others don’t.

It seems that Julia Sent uses very soft light when shooting. You can see there are no harsh, sharp shadows on any of the objects that she photographs. For the most part, there seems to be only one to two lights used. Some of her photos use just one front light and some use an additional fill light to bring out some objects that would have gotten lost. Some photos also show just one light placed at 45 degrees of the camera. Sent’s photo looks very much like a Dutch still life painting, she mimics the lighting and colors found in most of these paintings.

Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens

Art of the Mountain: Through the Chinese Photographer’s Lens is a beautiful exhibition located at the China Institute. The exhibition features various photographers who captured various mountain range. Although all the photos displayed were very well composed, three of them in particular, stood out to me the most.

The first photo is Minyak Gangkar in the Last Night of the Sun by Zhang Anlu. The mountain photographed is a sacred mountain in Tibet. Zhang Anlu informs viewers about its dangerous and mysterious reputation. When I saw this photo the first thing I noticed was the contrast in colors. The mountaintop is a beautiful warm tone against a very cool sky. The mountain is easily separated from the sky due to the fact that orange and blue are complementary colors. Anlu also captured the part of the mountain that isn’t lit by the Sun. I assume he waits for the perfect moment to capture the fog that passes through this mountain. This is very smart because the fog compliments the mysterious nature of this mountain. The textures and grooves of the mountain are also shown by the snow that covers it. This is a very beautiful photo that is very well composed by Anlu.

The second photo that stood out to me was Huangshan A054 by Wang Wusheng. I think this is a beautiful photo simply because of the strong, dark organic shape against and very muted background. This photo reminds me of a sublime painting. The naked tree branch leads your eyes out into the mountains that stand behind it. The mountains are a lighter gray tone with fog surrounding it. I think the photographer may have wanted to capture other aspects of nature that surround these mountains such as trees. It almost gives off a feeling of mystery and serenity due to the rugged shape of the branch and calm fog that’s surrounds everything. I like this because the photographer manages to take your eyes to the mountains without making it the main subject of the photo.

Lastly, Peach Blossom Colony by Yang Yongliang. This photo is very interesting because it was manipulated by the artist to further develop his intended message. I think there are two subjects to this photo: the woman and the mountains. The woman is wearing a white dress and seems to be walking towards the mountains in the distance. The most interesting thing about this photo is when you look at it from a distance, it looks like a very calm scene. However, the closer you look, the more details you will start to notice. What I noticed were the mountains. The mountains are actually constructed from buildings. Some residential, some corporate. This is obviously done to spread a message. The photographer wants to show his viewers how society overtakes all the nature that is around us. All that is natural is slowly being destructed and more man-made materials are taking the place of nature. This photo is black and white. I think this is a very smart choice because it gives off a serious tone of voice which is what is needed for this pressing issue.

Philip Lorca-Dicorcia

Philip Lorca-Dicorcia Hustler series depicts male prostitutes in the early 90s. He sets up the lighting to give off a certain emotion about each subject. One that stood out to me the most was Chris, 28 years old, Los Angeles, California, $30. There is so much going on in this photo and the lighting used really shows the life of this subject. Lorca-Dicorcia uses a front light on the subject’s face to show his emotion. This looks like a candid moment but without the light on his face, you wouldn’t be able to see his expression as well. The front light cast a large shadow onto the brick wall behind him. This gives off a more dramatic feel to the photo.

I like that he is in profile because it emphasizes his head tilting down. You really get to see his whole posture from a profile view. He is sitting down with bar-like rails in front of him. From this, I get the feeling of entrapment. I feel that the subject is trapped in this lifestyle as if this is something he has to do. The bars are also a great example of leading lines and perspective. You see them get smaller and it brings attention to the building across the street. The building across the street is lit with a cooler toned light. This brings out the contrast in this whole photo because of the warm toned red bricks. The photo also displays the rule of thirds. The split between the motel and greenish building across the street isn’t in the center but more off to the right. However, this places the subject in the center of the photo.

This is a very beautiful photo to look at. You start at the left with the large railings/bars and also see the doors. Then make your way to the shadow and subject of the photo to really understand the emotion that is being captured. As you move to the right, the doors and rails get smaller and point to the building across the street. I also see the cars kind of bring your eye back to the subject, once you’ve viewed the whole photo.

Avedon & Mannion

Richard Avedon was a well-renowned photographer. He is known for his fashion photography and portraits. Most of Avedon’s work can easily be recognized because he has a very unique style of photography. Most of his work has very similar qualities to them. Avedon’s portraits are usually black and white. They have very high contrast. There is even lighting in most of his portraits. Avedon also shoots against a white background. He does a great job at separating his subject from the background.

Jonathan Mannion had the privilege of assisting Richard Avedon during his career as a photographer. He went on to photograph many famous people in hip-hop as well as other icons. It’s safe to say that Mannion has applied what he’s learned from Avedon to his photography. Mannion photographed Jay-Z in such a way that seems similar to Avedon’s style of portraits. You can see he uses a white background with even lighting. The picture has very high contrast because of Jay-Z’s suit, scarf, and hat. His attire forms the whole shape of the photo. Jay-Z is also looking at the camera. Mannion’s portraits don’t all have the similar styles like Avedon but you can see most of them have the subject looking at the camera. This is something that Avedon’s portraits also have. It seems that Mannion may have also learned the importance of capturing the eyes when shooting.

Demi Moore & Beyonce

These two portraits are of different celebrities during their pregnancy. One is Demi Moore and the other is Beyonce. Demi Moore was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and Beyonce was photographed by Awol Erizku. Demi Moore’s was photographed against a solid background. She is standing and is completely nude. She isn’t looking directly at the camera, she is looking up. The lighting used was broad light. It looks like there may also have been some light above her to show her hair and additional lighting used to bring out her body. The colors are very warm/earth tones. There are some shadows but not too sharp. There is a soft gradient in the background. This is an older portrait that was on the cover of a magazine.

Beyonce’s portrait has more elements in its composition than Demi Moore’s. Beyonce is in a seated posture and she isn’t completely nude. She is photographed against a very colorful and floral background. Her body isn’t towards the camera but her head is. You can see she is looking directly at the camera. The lighting used in this shoot is front light and maybe some fill light. There is overall even lighting used in this shoot. There aren’t many shadows. There are much more colors in this portraits than in Demi Moore’s. Since this was taken in the recent years, it was published on social media instead of a magazine. Both portraits capture a milestone in each subjects life. They also show the differences in the time period with the different compositions and form of publication.

Yousuf Karsh & Nadav Kander

Yousuf Karsh is a 20th Century photographer who photographed well renowned individuals. Looking at his portraits, it seems that Karsh used light to distinguish each subject’s personality. There is a difference in emotion with subjects of different professions. You could tell the lifestyle of the sitter just by looking at Karsh’s portraits. For example, the portrait of Joan Crawford is more playful than Albert Einstein’s. You can Joan Crawford’s full body and she is in an unusual pose that shows her holding a cigarette. The backlight is more prominent that Einstein’s. This makes her look luxurious, whereas Einstein looks like serious and like someone who intellectual. Karsh depicts the lifestyle of his subjects well and doesn’t choose lighting just because it looks good. The one portrait that I would like to emulate is his portrait of Barbara Ann Scott. I like that he chooses to use long exposure to show movement which makes sense being that the subject is a figure skater.

Nadav Kander is a photographer that is still working today. I would his style of photography as bold. I see that he is not afraid to characterize his subjects in certain moods. Kander seems like the type of photographer that likes to experiment with as much ideas and then finalize the one that best suites his vision. I don’t he focuses much on the lifestyle of the subject like Karsh, but he uses light to evoke more emotions. Kander also positions his subject in a not so traditional way. Some of his subjects are facing away from him or looking at something else besides the camera. The one portrait that I would like to emulate is Florence Welch. The lighting is very elegant and bold at the same time.