Manny DeWalt – Dawoud Bey Inspiration

Looking at Dawoud Bey photographs I think that he uses facial expressions and body gestures to really give off a sense of attitude and personality from his subjects. When it comes to his framing, all of his photos of the young people are put at the center of the frame possibly  trying to show how important the subject is to the photo. The lighting of his photos give each photo a different feel and look especially the one with the girl with her hands crossed together, the light seems as though it is coming from the center while the background is dark which gives off this powerful feel almost like the girl is the boss of the classroom and she is in control. The foreground and background of the photos also plays an interesting role in the photos. The last photo with the kid with the fcuk sweater is a good example as the background goes hand and hand with the attitude with the young man himself, there is a blue tone that you can say gives off a chilling vibe and with the young man intense stare. Some ideas I got from his photos are to pay more attention to the expression of the subject because that is something that can really bring out the personality of not only the subject but the overall scene of the photograph. Also I think the setting of the photo is also important as he said in the video he moved them from where they were sitting in order to incorporate the setting with the expression and body language of the subject.

One thought on “Manny DeWalt – Dawoud Bey Inspiration

  1. rmichals

    Expression is everything. the lighting can be perfect but if the expression looks wooden the photo will always be bad. If the lighting is off but the expression is good, it may work.

    The photo of Shalanta has the darkest background. Contrast between the foreground or your subject and the background is another way to focus attention on the subject especially when the background is a bit chaotic. Look how busy the background is in that particular photo.


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