Saturday, 13 March 2010

Hip Hop Fashion / Portraiture

Image title - Jump

In this image I wanted to express movement in my subject to emphasise dance in Hip Hop. With this fairly close shot the subject creates strength in his form with a high jump in the air. This strength helps to power the energy in hip hop I'm trying to release. Keeping the light on each hand allows the clothes to be seen being held and stretching the hoodie out and slightly lifting the hat creates a more fluid action. The bent knees help to keep the body straight with a simple but effective centre frame composition.

To create this image I had to take the image at a fairly high level to make sure I could be at the same height as my subject once the shutter was released, so I used a stool to stand on to capture the image. I had to be careful with my lighting to make sure it leaked on to the face as this is what I wanted so I had to make my flash unit high camera right. I was using a Nikon D80 for this with a 17-70mm Sigma zoom lens.

Image title - Opened Cardigan

I wanted to capture a knitwear jumper that went well with the red leather flat peak cap as I knew it would go well with this style of Hip Hop. The white vest matches well with the cardigan and the dark blue jeans. I wanted the subject to hold the cardigan open so the light can spill on to the vest and create a varied range of tones. With the head tilting downwards towards the flash unit the hat is provided with a beautiful source of light. As the male subjects left shoulder enters darkness the light creates a powerful effect on the rest of his clothes as it looks like he's stepping into the light.

To make this image I had my model walk backwards and forwards opening his cardigan so I could capture his movement and find the best lighting on his body once he was infront of the light. Because Hip Hop isn't just a fashion style but a music genre this movement technique in my shoot became very interesting as I wanted to link his movement with Hip Hop. I left the right side of the image blank as it feels more effective as the subject is looking into space with the light on his face, so this image is left uncropped. I used the same camera and same lens in this shot but held my camera landscape as I felt it would work better with the subject opening his jumper wider.

Image title - Flat Peak Cap

I became fascinated with how well the light was falling on to the hat during the shoot and decided to capture a close up shot of the subect to show the texture on the cap. This Hip Hop shot reveals a serious expression on the face and a sense of confidence in the subjects style. I wanted the hand holding the end of the cap with the head faced up towards the light to create a powerful lighting effect, producing a clear view of both the face and the hand. The left eye being lit gives a dramatic dominance in the image enforcing strength in the subject's form.

To capture this composition I had my subject sat down with his hand holding his knee and this allowed the right of his jumper to stick out in view of the camera. From the original image, the left eye had a small amount of light leaking on to it but I strengthened that by dodging it in post production. Keeping the light high camera right allowed me to gain more experience in understand how the light would act on my subject so I kept the light there using the same DSLR camera and Sigma lens.

Image title - Chillin'

In this shot I wanted to create this laid back relaxed look but with a dramatic mysterious feel. The head tilted down and not being visable provides this mysterious look and creates a better focus on the clothes being worn. To create an interesting composition I positioned the subject sat down with his leg extended to form a triangular shape. The sat down approach helps to provide the subject with a more casual look and relaxes the frame with a black border around him.

To make this image I went low to the floor to get down to the level of my subject. I had the light falling down on the the right of the subject with a high camera right flash unit. I used the same DSLR and lens. Using dodging and burning in photoshop I brought out textures of the hoodie, cap and jeans.

Image title - Swagger

This portrait angle shot creates a confidence in the subjects style. His tilted head creates a beautfiul pool of light around the hat and face. With the opening of the jumper the subject emphasises his casual and cool look. The vest provides the model with a masculine touch, giving a powerful effect with the navy jumper. The centre frame composition pushes the subject forwards into the frame, wrapping a depth of field around the model and enforces his proud expression in this shot.

To make this shot I had my subject walk backwards and forwards, similar to the shot with the caridgan, however I asked him to look straight into the camera with a lowered head. This allowed the light to become more powerfully interesting as it fell on the subject. Using the same camera and lens I stood the slightly lower than the subject to create a higher level of dominence over the subject in the frame.

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