In Process Crit 1:The Undertaker

  1. As frame of reference, I consulted Courbet’s The Painter Studio painting to examine the mood, lighting, stance of the subject and composition of some of the objects surrounding the undertaker.
  2. I used this individual project as a study for the group reenactment photo of the painting. I have always appreciated the memento mori symbols in paintings and was drawn to this subject because of that and the objects that were surrounding the undertaker.
  3. I believe I captured the general composition of this portion of the painting well, given the limited objects and wardrobe I had in my house. I also think I captured the body stance of the undertaker well. I am quite happy with the framing overall and the lighting on the right side of the photo and believe the lighting on the face is quite accurate to the painting.
  4. The left side of the photo is too bright and the contrast of the white hands with the black garment is too jarring. I believe this will be able to be remedied in the studio when we do the group photo. I was somewhat limited with my lighting choices at home when doing the individual photo. Ideally the left hand side of the photo would recede more into shadows.
  5. As it relates to scale, I included several of the props or objects in the painting to assist with scale. I chose to do a close-up portrait style photo of the undertaker for the individual project and have the subject be the focal point of the scene. This will differ in the group project as he is a smaller piece of the larger image and off to one side.
  6. The greyscale adds to the moodiness and heaviness of the subject (death). The diagonal of the instrument and knife criss-crossing with the fabric and leading the eye to the skull and chair works well in terms of composition. I wanted the undertaker figure to be prominent in all black with the surrounding objects to be more muted shades of grey. I think the textured backdrop ads a nice element of depth.
  7. Focusing in on the one character of the painting, I wanted the photo to look similar to an old-style theatre poster, highlighting an actor in a play. I believe this has been achieved and even has a nod or two towards the theatre with the wooden floor (similar to a stage) and the skull looking similar to a traditional theatre mask.
  8. I think some additional work on lighting could further bring the photo closer to the mood of the painting through the use of shadows in the left side of the photo.
  9. It took a while to get the right composition of the objects and chair to where I was satisfied with the framing and placement. I also worked with the lighting to get the reflection off the face on the right side of the photo. It took several takes to get the right bodily stance and head tilt to reflect the undertaker in the painting.
  10. I was highly committed to this project and spent several hours working the lighting and composition. I tried several musical instruments and settled on the uke because the scale seemed to work best. I also tried several wardrobe/hat choices and chairs to see what fit the composition and reflected the painting best.
  11. For this project I did not sketch but worked closely with the layout in the original painting.