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Concentration - Object | Pattern

Final prints

Concentration - Object | Pattern

Final Prints

Week 10 - in the style of your favorite photographer

Our last assignment of the semester is to photograph in the style of our favorite photographer. I really like William Eggleston’s photographs, where he interprets the vernacular in very different aspects. A leading figure to introduce color photography, Eggleston creates a series of work that is compelling with his choice of subjects: capturing the complexity and beauty in everyday life. He doesn’t distinguish objects with shallow depth-of-field; instead, he uses composition to describe objects/ people in the designated space. Not staging any instance, he chooses his frame like one would with street photography, seeking for the most natural moments with meaningful perspective.

I take the paths I know the most of Trastevere to take these shots. Even if I walked by these places everyday and possibly see similar moments like these often, I still have very different understanding to these subjects when I see the photographs. Photographs not only are a medium to record but also a material to learn with.

view from villa medici

Patrick Faigenbaum

“More abstract than color, black-and-white has discretely introduced a fantastic element into the probable if not truthful imagery of everyday reality.”       - Jean-Francoise Chevrier

(Jean-Francoise Chevrier is a critic curator who has followed Faigenbaum since the beginning of the photographer’s career, commented on Faigenbaum’s famous black-and-white photographic series.)

Faigenbaum is best known for his portraits of families of Italian aristocrats. Because black-and-white photography lacks additional information of object details, it requires attentive presentation of figures and space in specific lighting condition. Faigenbaum uses this abstraction selectively; in situations where he captures portraits of one person, he does not introduce additional light sources except soft diffused light which portray a figure with chiaroscuro. The strong contrast along the gradient emphasizes and blends the volumes of the figure-space relations. Particularly in the first image, the woman in bed could be understood in the vivid skin and facial expression; while the composition is simple, the viewers are constantly left with uncertainty where batch of shadows begins to merge, and the focus of the photograph jumps between the strong white of the lamp and the half-seen face.


Unlike conventional portraits of the nobility where the person is highly celebrated, this photograph places the figures between two bright regions: the candle stand and the column framed by a window in the back room. Across the shooting space lays various vertical elements that the standing figures, along with these things, create a pattern in the room. 


In the review by Vancouver Art Gallery critics, Faigenbaum’s photography “– whether presented alone or in a series – offers a time and space set apart from life and held in tense, contemplative stillness by its frame.” Faigenbaum’s works are presented in major institutions such as New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and Centre Pompidou in Paris, and he has won the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award on June 10th of this year. 

The Exhibition is currently up in Villa Medici, the French Academy in Rome, Italy

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