“Jenni” – Nigel Hemingway

From time to time we post a photo from our Media Library, accompanied by some words about the selection.  Chosen by Derek Chambers, this Featured Image is by Nigel Hemingway.

Jenni - © Nigel Hemingway

Jenni – © Nigel Hemingway

I chose Nigel’s photo entitled “Jenni” because it appeals in many different ways.

First is the warmth of the photo.  Taken under tungsten lighting, warm colours predominate, giving a golden glow to all parts of the image.  The lighting is from above and to the side, its angle highlighting the hand, the shoulder and a portion of the Jenni’s face.

Second is the composition.  I love the way the forearm, the curled hand, the face and the shoulder form a triangle whose apex – the curled fingers – draw the viewer’s eye back down to the face, making it, as it should be, the central focus.  This effect is further enhanced by the contrasting darkness of the model’s hair, although even it is warmed by the highlights.  And, finally, the figure is pushed into the foreground, and set of, by the background darkness.

We see the model in an intimate moment.  The photo instantly reminded me of similar “intimate moment” paintings by the Impressionist artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.  As one looks more closely at the photo, details emerge – the curl of a strand of  hair crossing an ear, drawing our eye to the delicateness of ear’s curves and to the single pearl earring in its lobe.  Jenni’s bangs are in focus, but the limited depth of field puts both the foreground shoulder and the mid-ground face slightly out of focus,  imparting a softness to the scene, further confirming the intimacy.

Finally, I also like the photo because it could be cropped more tightly, by removing nearly a third of the bottom of the image, and it would still retain all of the characteristics I’ve mentioned above.  When a single image can be presented in many different ways and forms, yet still retain its appeal, you’ve got a winner.

Well done Nigel.

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