Jack Welpott – Sherry (1980)
I featured a couple of interesting photos from Welpott a little more than a year ago.
The way his focal plane tilts ever so slightly forward–not sure if this is to emphasize the floor or was an effort to subconscious facilitate a behavior in the viewer or to convey a sense of psychological superiority to what he was depicting but I can’t say I’m fond of this unconscious tick.
Still: there’s no arguing that he was a master at presenting space as if it pre-ordered by some cosmic pattern instead of carefully constructed by the artist.
There’s something about scale with this image. Sherry looks improbably large in that bench. At first glance it seems like she might be floating because the bench is so deeply set into the shadows.
Also, this sort of lighting situation is realy difficult to handle. Stop down too much and you lose any of the interior details, open up and you get wicked over exposure. (Metering your highlight and then your shadow and splitting the difference usually works OK for exterior stuff. And admittedly B&W gives you even greater over to under range. This was carefully finessed. I’m not sure whether there was some sort of additional light source–whether some sort of flash unit filtering in just a touch of spill, or if there’s some sort of reflector out side the house bouncing light in, if things were shot with heavy bracketing–it’s a real pain in the arse to do but you’ll never regret having done it when you’re editing; or, if it’s split graded when it was printed. (Although I was pretty great at split grading and this looks a little too seamless.)
It also reminds me of something I was asked for when I tried to apply to a filmmaking program after finishing my undergrad stint. They wanted my reel to contain at least one instance where I had an interior shot with a window and you could see through the window in such a way that you could make out both what was outside and what was inside. (It’s actually a fun little challenge, if you’re ever bored.)