I'm really obsessive with lighting and gesture. My personal work is very often described as moody. Moody less in the sense of subject matter and more about how I've created a mood with light and gesture. I love mystery, I want to see a picture or piece of art and wonder what is going on in the background.
These three images I found on The Sartorialist this week. Each of the women in these photographs has a mood or gesture that I find fascinating. Each one I find I'm asking myself "who is she? what was she doing and where is she going?" Inquiring minds want to know!
This first girl is the perfect marriage of ideas. She's Katherine Hepburn if Katherine Hepburn hung out in Dumbo, Chelsea or Williamsburg. Her expression is subtly surprised but her gesture is calm and strong. You can just see the next moment, she turns and walks away and you never see her again and that's okay.
This next image feels so timeless. I feel like you could put a backdrop in from almost any era and it would work flawlessly. Maybe she's a gypsy, maybe she's a witch or maybe she's a down and out Countessa on the run. Though she's not really in motion she feels full of potential energy. I don't want to know her, I want her to be a mystery.
The girl in this last image is clearly a traveler. She could be a vampire, a witch or a courtesan/mistress. This is another image that feels like it could easily swap eras. Unlike the image before, I want to know who she is. She seems full of secrets that I want to know but she will never tell me.
These are the sorts of images I want around me when I'm trying to set a certain mood. The lighting in the first two is mainly from behind and in each I don't want to know more about the subject. I'm okay with them going off into the sunset never to be seen again by me. They stay a mystery because that is more emotionally fulfilling with those images. The last image the figure is in a more natural subdued lighting situation and I want to know more. Her gesture is almost cat like, like someone pressed pause on her as she was moving. You know that girl has seen things, not necessarily bad things, just things and maybe she'll share with you if you are worthy.
Each image really plays on all senses to create a mood and that's what I want to bring into my work. I want people to be able to hear the thunder if I draw the lighting.