Streettogs Academy 13: “Darkness” Results and Analysis

SA 13RA

(Cover Photo by Community’s Choice, Jomel Bartolome)

In order for a photograph to exist, it has to have light but for this assignment, we are going to focus on the other side of the spectrum which is darkness. Darkness is not just the absence of light but it also connotes certain meanings. That is why assignment no. 12 Editor’s Choice Sasha Cherny picked this as the assignment theme. Let us see how the rest of the group interpreted the theme with these selections:

Photo by Jomel Bartolome
Photo by Jomel Bartolome

Let’s kick things off with a former Editor’s Choice, Jomel Bartolome. The odd thing about Jomel for this assignment is that the two photos he submitted both got the most and same number of likes! The probability of that is quite absurd if you ask me but he made it happen!

This is the one we chose because it fits perfectly to what Sasha Cherny thinks of darkness: Something ominous, mysterious, and evil that brings about fear and anxiety. The silhouette of a dark figure evokes some of those themes of darkness. Good job on Jomel for this one.

Photo by Marcus Alanson
Photo by Marcus Alanson

From one silhouette to another, Marcus’ photo here can give you the creeps especially if you are pedophobic (fear of children). The treatment of the photo and the baby holding that bunny rabbit stuffed toy is a nice touch. The crib also seems as if it was a prison cell. Going in close and wide is never a bad idea. Here’s a thing though, I have no clue what are those lights in the background but they add something to the entire image and that is what’s important.

Photo by Monika Jaskowska-Bablok
Photo by Monika Jaskowska-Bablok

I have no idea where Monika photographs because assignment after assignment, she gives a nice output! This one seems it was lifted straight out of a post apocalyptic world. This has chaos, smoke, and the dead giveaway that this is a set (see video camera at the extreme left). Many things are happening and when a photographer is faced with a scene like this, you merely have to find the best place to be able to capture everything. Usually, that place is where everything is calm.

Photo by Bruno Machado
Photo by Bruno Machado

Here’s another photo that has the face covered up. When you cover up an important detail such as a face, it adds instant mystery. However, the image wouldn’t have worked if the treatment of the photo doesn’t add to that mystery. This also a rare occasion that bokeh worked for a street image. Interesting execution by Bruno.

Photo by Harry Fodor
Photo by Harry Fodor

Harry has become a staple of these selections because every so often, his approach to the assignment is always something cheeky. We always go “Aha! I see what you did there!”. A good photo doesn’t necessarily need to be ultra complex. It can be something that can digest in a single look. Have a laugh at this one!

Photo by Stefano Lista
Photo by Stefano Lista

Here’s a more traditional photo by Stefano. The Juxtaposition here shows a little bit of longing and anxiety as the two figures tell a story. The one at the top floor shows a sense of longing and anxiety based on the gesture and how the person is lit while the one about to exit at the bottom has a touch of sadness. The lines brought about by the architecture helped as well. It actually evokes multiple stories just by theorizing the relationship between the two subjects of the photo.

Photo by Forrest Walker
Photo by Forrest Walker

A trope that is commonly used in horror movies is when the shadow of the person doesn’t match the person’s movement. That is what Forrest showed us here. The shadow of the figure also seems as though it is sneaking. It is made possible because of that hand that seems as though it is trying to reach out. This is an excellent shadow play that is simple but is 100% in interpreting our theme of darkness.

Photo by Matan Drori
Photo by Matan Drori

I can feel the rage of the kid in Matan’s photo. There is so much tension in the kid and the group that surrounds him. I also like the fact that the everything is in the shadow except the kid’s face. It made the kid be the center of the entire photo. The image is also lit in a very interesting manner. From extreme dark to the right side to a brighter light on the left and right in the middle is the group of kids. Your eyes play around the image and quite curious what was left out of the frame. Interesting image from Matan.

Photo by Muhammad Imam Hasan
Photo by Muhammad Imam Hasan

If there is one thing that was common all through out this assignment, it is the use of Chiaroscuro. This photo by  Mr. Hasan employs that. The extreme range from brightness to light invades the entire image but it give a sense of depth to it. The print on the shirt also alludes to a certain story paired with the boy on the lower half of the frame. Again, simple executions done in a very interesting manner.

Photo by Daniel Wirabuana
Photo by Daniel Wirabuana

I like how Daniel composed this image. I’m not sure if this was a double exposure or just a play on the shadow but there is already a sense of fear because of the figures and how they are standing. Those into videogames might be familiar with the once popular Slenderman. The stoic gait silhouetted is always an effective way of making the figure stand out but what made it unique is the cross that is extremely off centered balancing out the composition.

Photo by Sam Warzone
Photo by Sam Warzone

Here’s another great visual metaphor from Sam. The placement of the tree’s branches already makes our imagination fly. The reflection from that image already says a lot a bout the male gaze. Usually, post processing techniques that stray away too much from reality can decrease the beauty of the image but for our assignment, I think Sam made an interesting decision. His choice made the skin of mannequin other worldly, the sky contrasty, and the over all look of the image seem ghastly. It fits the assignment well.

Editor’s choice

For this assignment, we saw a lot of exercise in contrasts and making visual metaphors but the ones that truly stood out are the ones that showed “Darkness” both in subject matter and in the way the image is processed. A hallmark of a good image is when there is a connection between the thought of the photographer and what he/she was able to that can be easily be understood by the audience. For our case here, we are looking for the connection. The assignment is the thought and the execution are your images.

“Darkness” is more than just light play but an an over all atmosphere that connotes the macabre or the evil. Here is your Editor’s choice for Assignment No. 13:

Matan Drori

Congratulations Matan Drori

Email me at contact@agdemesaphoto.com and let’s discuss the next assignment!

Honorable Mentions

Stefano Lista

Forrest Walker

Closing Thoughts

Another assignment done!

One of the common things found in the assignment is silhouettes and high contrast which are really great exposure techniques you can do on the streets. I do hope all of you were able to add those two in your repertoire. Let’s keep on going and see you on Assignment No. 14!

If you want to join in, just go to the Streettogs Academy Facebook Group! (or read my introduction here)

In behalf of your moderator, Fabricio Santos, we would like to thank you for participating in this’s assignment and hope you will join again in the next one!

May the light shine bright wherever you are!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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