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Week 9: Work in Progress

Last time I was discussing portraiture in my practice. In this post I would like to focus on the body as a subject and ways how to distort its appearance.

I have selected my latest photos to demonstrate some of the techniques.

Lucie Nechanicka, 2020

One of the techniques I would like to explore more is perspective. I love how the body‘s shape and proportions completely change when shooting from an unusual angle.

I have captured the first and second photo from a very low angle to distort and manipulate the body’s appearance. Therefore in the first photograph the hips and belly seem to be a lot larger than the rest of the body. The second photograph was taken in the same way but in this case it is the top of the body closer to the lens – hence why the chest and breast look large compare to the small hips and thighs.

The other technique is a combination of suitable props and good knowledge of the camera.

In these three photographs I used a cling foil that I wrapped over the lens in order to shoot through it to deform the vision. However, the distortion by the cling foil is different in the first two photographs in a comparison to the third one.

I accomplished it by changing the camera aperture. For the first two photos I used low aperture f/4.5 to yield shallow depth of field. It helped me to get the body in focus, whilst the foil remained blurry and created an interesting effect resembling sparkling droplets. In the third photo I set up high aperture f/18 which yielded wide depth of field. That allowed the cling foil to be also in focus (besides the body) and it made the creases sharper and more recognizable.

Lucie Nechanicka, 2020 The last two photographs I have shot through a cut in a food glove that I had wrapped over my lens. I used the same technique of experimenting with the aperture values. In the fourth photograph I used low aperture, hence why the body is in focus while the edges of the gloves are blurry. It created a very soft transition between the right edge and the pale skin of the body (enhanced by artificial lighting). The aperture value in the last image was set up to high, therefore the glove edges are in focus likewise the subject. The creases and curves of the glove are sharper and enhance the curves and shapes of the body. The last photograph was also shot from a low angle to manipulate the body’s proportions.. These mentioned techniques are frequently used in my practice. I would like to explore them more and experiment with different ways of combining them. In terms of props there are a lot of items I would like to experiment with. This is just a small sneak peek of what is on my list of props: mirrors, flowers, bed sheets, paper weight, torch, glasses, etc I am planning on combining these props with the photographic techniques I have demonstrated above and others. There is an endless amount of creative possibilities. Why am I doing this? I love finding unique ways of looking at the human body and depicting its beauty and peculiarity.

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