Dan Kitchens – Chanty, NYC (2014)
This is quite nice.
As far as light’s concerned that’s a balanced gamut from shadow without detail (beneath Chanty’s hands), shadow with detail (the lower left edge of the frame), midtones, effing fantastic skin tone, highlights with detail (her shirt) and highlight without detail (most of her left sleeve).
If this were any other image on Tumblr, you’d see the white edge of the window that’s illuminating the room. Compositionally, it would be a terrible decision, distracting from the dynamic tension between light and dark. Instead, the window is excluded and instead the only hint of it besides the light it’s introducing and subsequent shadows cast, is the left arm of her top. Along with the chair favored slightly to frame left and angled ever so slightly toward the window, the frame is well balanced. (I can’t remember ever seeing this before but it’s a great notion–in traditional photography, if anything too near the edge of the image is blown out, you actually have to increase the amount of light it gets when making a print in order to burn it in so that it does not appear to be the same color as the paper.)
I’m pretty sure this has been edited post-capture–the left chair arm appears to have been dodged and the right chair arm appears to have been burned in to increase the sense of dimensionality.
Taken together, this creates an aesthetically pleasing image that is rich with texture: carpet, chair, wallpaper and curtains–not to mention Chanty’s hair and skin.
I’m not 100% sure about the lampshade behind her head. The shadow cast by the lampstand is super obvious and I think that distracts. Also, her expression seems less expression than transitory shift between expressions.
My gut instinct if it were my image and I was editing it, would be to go back and try to pull some texture out of the lamp shade, or just darken in in a fashion not unlike the lower left corner of the frame has been burned in