Framework No. 2: Faith

August Sander, Master Mason, 1926

Faith is a low contrast black and white photo based on August Sander’s Master Mason, which was part of a portfolio titled, 11/8 Master Craftsmen. Sanders documented craftspeople as an intimate and typological approach to photography. For my photo, I documented my dear friend Faith in their studio. They have been refining their craft in painting and tattooing for the past three years. My intention was to take the subject’s/craftsperson’s attention while they worked among their artwork. It is a documented interruption of an artist at work. I am interested in the way a subject can be framed by their own work and how its honesty juxtaposes the staging process of some photo-taking approaches. Faith portrays an artist interrupted among their work: I have taken them away from their process, staged them and documented them, before they continued working on.

I used a gradient map and saturation adjustments to achieve a low-contrast black and white photo. I used a staging light for my first attempt of shooting this frame but I found the photos were too refined-looking. For the final image I opted to use the regular lighting from the ceiling lamps in Faith’s studio. I thought it was nice that the low-contrast editing made smaller details more clear, showcasing some of Faith’s artwork behind them better than compared to the original image.