Wednesday, November 17, 2010
This photo was taken by Rosie Hardy, an 18 year old from England. This photo shows a girl dressed as a clown, squatting on a chair in a darkened corner, looking frightened. The walls behind her have shadows of fingers pointing and grasping towards the clown.
I chose this photo for multiple reasons. It is a self-portrait, which I specifically looked for since I’m attempting self-portraiture for this project. It is also both whimsical and scary. I really enjoy the juxtaposition of the clown costume and the scary shadow puppets. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to laugh at or feel sorry for the clown. The imagery is scary enough, and also the emotional face of the clown, that I can’t help but feel sympathy for the clown.
I liked that the photo is telling a story. We are exposed to a frozen moment of this clown’s life and I also liked that Rosie made the background a part of the story as well. I think that in a lot of portraits, the background is ignored or taken away by just having a white wall to help emphasize the subject. Rosie started with a simple background (grayish mottle walls) and added elements that draws your attention to the subject even more, rather than distracting. I think that this is a successful portrait, because Rosie obviously considered all elements of the photo before taking it. She created a character of a scared clown and both dressed and expressed herself appropriately for that character, she worked the background to her advantage, instead of ignoring it, and she made sure that the lighting was perfect for both the hand shadows and for darkening the corner with the clown in it.