Monthly Archives: February 2019

Beyonce by Awol Erizku vs Demi Moore by Annie Leibowitz

When I see both images, Beyonce picture seems to use front light so that her entire body lights up nicely without to much exposure but as well as not to dark but instead has soft shadows. The soft white light used to take the image also feels more natural.  With the soft front lighting and her pose of her kneeing down on the grass and her hands on her stomach, it feels like elegance with beauty and care. While Demi Moore image is using Rambrandt lighting from the right of the camera with a more harsh light and stronger shadows. It feels more empowering, like as if showing that pregnant women are strong, independent, and with a huge amount of pride on her face expression.

Demi Moore announcement of her pregnancy was put on magazines for the time that it was taken in 1991. While Beyonce was put on her personal social media since now anything on social media can blow up so fast and spread around the world in less than a day compared to a magazine. Also making it easier to land on magazines everywhere.

My thought on the reasons for the different styles that the actress are doing is probably due to how during 2015 to 2018 people have been more open and publicly shaming women/mothers for breast feeding in public. Though the shaming started before the 21st century it started to become more public in recent years, so women tried to not get put within the cross fire of these debates especially actresses. while during the 20th century, women breast were being more sexualized and so women posing naked on camera wasn’t a huge problem, at least not publicly but they still had to censor or hide women’s breast on magazines

Inspiration of Annie Leibowitz and Awol Erizku

Demi Moore’s pregnancy photos taken by Annie Leibowitz’s for Vanity Fair Magazine in 1991, sparked worldwide controversy becoming one of the most influential photos of all time. The photo portrayed Demi in all of her nude glory posed in a side profile covering her left breast and supporting her baby bump. The photo appeared to be front lit creating shadows around the subject standing against a plain grey background and looking off camera. Leibowitz went into the shoot with the concept being “glamorous and sexy” photographing Moore in an array of couture gowns and jewelry, only taking the nude photos towards the end of the shoot. The photos were originally only intended for Moore’s family as she had done with her first pregnancy. Leibowitz joked that the nudes would “make a good cover” but never expected it to be the final pick. She believed her best work was actually featured inside of the magazine, but the cover seemed to outshine them all. The photo stirred up a huge controversy with some people loving the portrayal of motherhood and the idea of being sexy while pregnant but some found the photo pornographic or indecent. Overall, the photo bought ideas of female nudity and pregnancy out of the closet to be more widely accepted by the public.

In 2017, Beyonce’s pregnancy photos by Awol Erizku drew widespread interest gaining The Guinness Book of World Records title for most liked photo on Instagram within 8 hours. In the photo, similar to Demi Moore’s Beyonce is posed in a side profile supporting her pregnant belly. She is looking into the camera partially clothed, wearing a greenish veil, in a kneeling position, set against a deep blue background and in the middle of a wall of flowers. The photo appears to be evenly lit probably using both a main and fill light cropped comfortably around the subject. Erizku was inspired by classical artworks like Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus also focusing on color and composition. He utilized flower arrangements and re-purposed items throughout the whole series photographing Beyonce, her husband Jay-Z and their first child Blue Ivy.

Daniel Singh – Assignment Due Feb 25 (Inspiration: Annie Leibowitz, Awol Erizku)

Demi Moore’s photograph was shot by Annie Leibowitz, a decorated photographer who most recently has taught a lesson on masterclass platform.  This photograph was taken for Vanity Fair, headlining their cover of the August issue, 1991.  It was a cultural shock for a repressed society who some viewed the pregnant female body as obscene or repulsive, much less having it grace the cover of a leading publication bare.

Demi’s body is turned to her right, but her face is captured in a three quarter view. I suspect broad lighting is used here by way of the larger area of her face being lit with the shadows sitting on her right eye, cheekbone and chin.  The background is flat and free of distraction, allowing you to focus on Demi.  Demi is standing, and has created a “hand bra” or used her arms to simultaneously cover her breast and embrace her belly.  This frames the focal point of the photo.

Beyonce photo was captured by Awol Erizku. It’s intended purpose was her public pregnancy announcement across social media.  Culturally, it was embraced and celebrated as it (at the time) went on to be the most “liked” photo of 2017. Times have changed.

Beyonce’s body is also turned to her right, but she is kneeling.  Her face is slightly off-center but not enough to qualify as three quarters. The photo is well lit, I am going to assume a butterfly and a hair light might be in use.  The veil makes it difficult to determine because of the appearance of minimal shadow, which I only see on her neck.  Her hands are placed more closely together, encasing her “bump”.  She is visibly earlier in her pregnancy than Demi.  The colors of this photograph are rich and vivid, from the blue sky, eclectic flower arrangements (which frame Beyonce as the focal point), to the green hue of the veil, and baby blue fringe of her bottoms.  This all helps to add texture, layers, and a depth to this photo.

Inspiration Post: Demi Moore & Beyonce

Annie Leibowitz photo of Demi Moore from 1991 and Awoi Erizku photo of Beyonce from 2017 are similar but different in a way. Demi Moore photo can be looked at as more risky and bold than the Beyonce photo because of the sense of nudity that is being shown in the photo.  The chose of wardrobe for Beyonce may have been the deciding factor to why it was the most liked photo of 2017 on Instagram.  When it comes to the lightning it is more complimentary to the Beyonce photo than the Demi Moore, looking at Beyonce the light seems to be more subtle and smooth while Demi Moore is more harsh and the glow that is on her face proves it.  Composition and props also play a key role to these photos and Beyonce photo once again takes the cake. The blue sky background with the arrangement of the flowers really helps the photo pop more, you may say that less and simple is better like the Demi Moore photo but I believe when shooting a women who is going to give birth you would want the background and the things around her to look inviting and not as plain as the grey background in Demi Moore’s photo. There is however a similar position of the subject where both women are not exactly placed in the middle maybe the photographers were using the rule of thirds placing their subjects more to the right than centered.

Inspiration Post: Yousuf Karsh & Nadav Kander

Yousuf Karsh was a Armenian Canadian photographer known for his portraits of important and famous men and women of politics.  His photography can be seen as strong and powerful because of the different sets of lighting that he used.  When shooting famous politicians you would want them to stand out and look just as important as they are and I think Yousuf really captured them that way. Through expression and props he shows that he really got to know his subject before capturing them in the moment.  The photo I chose from Yousuf is the photo he took of Pablo Picasso and in this photo I believe it shows exactly who Picasso is and what he believes is important to him. The lightning that he chose seems to be a broad lighting capturing a lot of the right side of Picassos face.  The vase with the women silhouette was a clever and key prop to showing off the artist that is Pablo Picasso.


Nadav Kander is a London based artist, director and photographer who is notorious for landscapes and portraiture.  When looking at this photographers work you’ll see that his photos captures a sense of personality from his subjects. The way the lights are utilized are interestingly and amazingly done.  Some of his photos give off a unorthodox feel where the subject is used in a way where you’ll leave being mesmerized and curious. The photo of Nadav Kander that I chose was the one with Sadiq Khan where the light is shadowing a bit of his forehead and chin boxing in his eyes and nose almost like Kander is trying to show how strong and bold of a personality his subject has.

When entering a new assignment after looking at Yousuf and Nadav I think I should focus on my subjects personality and try to match the lightning to the mood my subject is giving off.  Using a broad lighting set up can be good for people with a strong, bold and confident personality or a person with a soft side to them who are kind hearted maybe butterfly lightning or short lightning will be good for them.

daming_Inspiration_Feb 25th.

Demi Moore’s pregnancy photo by Annie Leibovitz in 1991 it was a very bold attempt. Because at that time, not many people had the courage to try and face the evaluation of entertainment media or the public is very cruel and polarized. Speaking of photos, the overall style is broad light. The figure’s face is a three quarter view. Light hits her right side. Her jaw is a little raised. The highlight is on her right forehead. There is a distinct shadow in the clavicle. The photographer may have added fill light in front of her. The background is grey to reflect the main character. The photographer has used the rule of thirds approach to composition, which has produced an eye that is very appealing. She covered her private parts with both hands. Overall it’s a very attractive maternity photo and a very bold attempt.

Beyonce’s pregnancy photo by Awol Erizku in 2017 This picture is very impressive to me. My sister was pregnant when she was pregnant, so I wanted to take a picture of my sister with pregnancy. This photo gives me a sense that photography could have gone in this direction (I didn’t think this style before) . This photo has less privacy than Demi’s. She wears something that covers her private parts. Speaking of this photo, it may not have been very skillful. More is the preliminary arrangement and the topic of the characters themselves. The background is a kind of blue sky feeling, the middle is a wreath, the foreground is the character itself. Although the overall picture is very rich in color, but the overall brightness of my feeling, may be the light green gauze cap gave me this feeling. In fact, the head of the figure has a little quarter view. The main light is on the left side. Because you can clearly see the difference between the wreath on the left and the wreath on the right. In general, there’s nothing interesting about this photo for me, probably just because she’s Beyonce.

What may surprise me more is Demi’s maternity photo. Because at that time, this style was very bold and dangerous.

Inspiration: Celebrities Pregnancy

In these two photos there a theme but from a different perspective from each photographer. It was hard to find where the light was in the Beyonce’s photo shoot. I think the reason for that is because the veil is covering her face. But the way Beyonce is posed in a third quarter view, I think this broad light. I do see some shadows around the neck area but not in her shoulder. As for Demi Moore photo, you can easily see that this broad light. Since she has a third quarter view the light is hitting her left side. From these two shoots I understand Demi Moore had more attention. Around this time Demi’s photo was considered to be very controversial. After all she isn’t wear anything. Compare to Beyonce photo where she is cover but only that but there are too many things going the photo. There’s the background and the veil covering her face. Also the flowers surrounding her. I think all the things makes the picture to be at ease. I think the Demi’s photo is very strong and impactful. Just because there aren’t things covering her and she is the focus of everything and there nothing to distract the viewer. I could understand why Demi’s photo had many reaction and feelings. After all these two photos were shot at different times. I think if these two photos were to switch places in when they were shot. I think the Beyonce photo would be talked about but not as much as Demi’s photo. But if Demi’s photo was shot in 2017, I this would more acceptable, after showing nudity is the norm. We get to see it photos, movies, and even in shows. Such as the most talked and successful show Game of Thrones.

Celebrity Pregnancy – Kelvin Moncion – 2/25

Before Beyonce’s head turning pregnancy, that drove the whole media and fan base wild, we had Demi Moore’s pregnancy in 1991. Of course with these pregnancies. came the photographs of these women. Starting with Demi Moore’s which was photographed by Annie Leibowitz, the photograph turned lots of head, one half of the people did not like it at all, the fact that Moore was in the nude was an act of “indecency” and was viewed as “scandalous”. The other half embraced the fact that Moore felt comfortable and, Moore was representing motherhood in a way that has never been publicized before. This even paved way for a new concept that photographers would use in the future where it is all about capturing the the beauty of pregnancy. Moving on to Beyonce’s photograph, this captured the eyes of everyone and it was plastered everywhere (annoying.) you could not escape it. Beyonce uses a fine arts insinuation, which was Paula Modersohn-Becker’s painting “Sixth Wedding Anniversary”, you can see Beyonce holding her belly the same way Paula did. Comparing Moore’s and Beyonce’s pregnancy photographs both photographers use different approaches for example in Moore’s we see that Leibowitz used a broad light on her, which compliments the left side of her face and ears, her right hand covering her breast and the left hand holding her belly. For Beyonce’s it looks as if Erizku used a front light, there is a balance of lights and shadows, which would be a really flat and boring picture, but what really puts everything together is the flora in the back, the vibrant colours give this photo a beautiful finish, which is symbolic as well, since flowers represent love, beauty, purity and, that is every emotion and thought that goes through a mother when she first holds her newborn in her hands.

inspiration : Nadav Kander and Yousuf Karsh

Nadav Kander is a London based photographer, he shoots portraits and large format landscape photographs. He began photographing at 13 years old and has had his works published in magazines such as the New York times, Rolling stones and etc. The photograph I chose from Kander is from a commission he did for Garage Magazine, a magazine dedicating appreciation for contemporary art and fashion. The commission he photographed was for the fashion line Comme des Garcons and Kander used rembrant light as a technique. On the model’s right cheek you can see a triangle and using this lighting technique he used no fill I believe since light and shadows are quite deep. I feel like this lighting technique compliments the subjects features around her cheekbones and slim nose and her outfit. The textures of her outfit are dark and the heavy light and shadow brings out those textures on the head piece and the sparkle on the outfit on her body.

Yousuf Karsh was an Armenian Canadian photographer who was also known for photographing portraits of famous people such as Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and etc. He was introduced to photography first by his Uncle when he immigrated to Canada in 1925, working for John H Garo who specialized in portraiture. Yousuf Karsh was known for his dramatic effects of light and shadow using artificial lights. The photograph that I was drawn to the most happen to be this one Yukio Ozaki, former mayor in Tokyo, Japan in the 1950’s. The lighting is on the soft side from diffusion of light possibly and I like how he incorporated 2 people, Yukio Ozaki and a women whom may be someone close to him or his wife I presume. It’s difficult for me to tell if she is leaning to tell him something or give him a kiss, which is also something I like from this photograph because it makes me question the story behind the photo, why not just Ozaki himself? Was this an unintentional moment to photograph or was it done on purpose? Is there other photographs of just Yukio Ozaki and what made Yosuf Karsh pick this one to show? I like the composition of the photograph, there is a balance of between the subjects and negative space around them that emulates light. There one thing I notice from this photo though and that is that Karsh’s subject’s face seems to be out of a focus a bit while more sharp and focused on the details of Ozaki’s outfit, hair and his hands layed on top of his cane and focus on the women’s blouse and hair as well. This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative.

What I’d like to emulate in the upcoming portraits are emphasizes of light and shadow when using rembrant light without fill and taking a look what stands out from a subject, is it one of their features or their outfit? Would I like them to look directly at the camera or down or elsewhere, and I mention this because the photographs I was drawn to by these two photographers, their subjects are looking down and are not facing the camera.

Inspiration of Yousef Karsh and Nadav Kander

Yousef Karsh was a well-known photographer working in the 20th century. He was described as patient with his work, waiting for an interesting moment rather than just snapping away at a his subjects. He believed there was a difference between casually speaking to the subject during a shoot rather than bombarding them with excessive talk or questions and making them too distracted to sit and take a photo. Karsh captured the essence of decency and humanity even in the nastiest of people. He was restless and believed despite all his work and experiences, his best photo was yet to be composed.

In his work, Karsh uses many different lighting techniques such as back/rim light, front light, broad and strip light  . This photo is an example of strip light, Karsh place two lights somewhat behind the subject bring the audiences’ eye to the subjects features while leaving the face in shadow. This gives a 3-dimentional effect like the subject is leaning closer out of the frame.

Nadav Kander is an active photographer working through portraits, landscapes, film and commercial medium. He fell in love with the technical aspects of photography as a child putting long hours into practicing his craft. Kander received no formal education in photography but focused on the abstract and surrounding area in a photo before he included a subject . Naturally, he fell more into landscape photography not including people in his photos until he was 30. When he finally did venture into portraits it was less about who was in the pictures and more about recognizing the human condition.


In one example, Kander is using both main and background light photographing a close-up of Obama’s face, with a more questioning or relaxed experession.  In the other example, its a wider shot, using mostly 3 point lighting with some shadow,adding more focus on the concentrated expression.  In his portraits, Kander also utilizes color, light,and shadow to communicate the mood of the photo.