Back to Black


Back, photo by Harold Davis. View this image larger.

Looking at this photo in Adobe Bridge, it was the most underexposed of the set—and very, very dark. The histogram was bunched tightly to the left. You’d expect some of the histogram to be left-biased. After all, the background is black—and an exposure histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of values from dark to white. But most photographers don’t normally select captures where the entire histogram is essentially pinned to the left wall, which represents darkness.

Of all the exposures with comparable composition, I chose this dark one. I take this as am important reminder: that “properly” exposed photos are rarely very interesting.

It took me most of the day to “tease” the painterly elements of the rear view of this model out of this dark composition, and I intentionally left a great deal of the image in the dark. So this photo reminds me of another significant point. In life, a little mystery is more intriguing than complete revelation. So, too, in art and photography: You often get more mileage by not showing everything.

This entry was posted in Models, Photography.

One Trackback

  1. By Calla Lily 2 | Photoblog 2.0 on April 18, 2011 at 10:06 am

    […] Lily’s shapes—tapered, curved, sensuous—echo other natural forms, such as the human body or the rock formations found in slot canyons. I photographed this flower to appear luminous against […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *