Every now and then I come over a photograph where I think “this is perfect”. Some photos by Edward Weston, for example. When I then afterwards try to analyze why I reacted this way I realize that this has to do with a certain way to treat the photographic subject. What I also realize is that the approach is just opposite to mine. And that, I think, is worth a thought or two.
The “perfection” I mentioned springs mostly from the plasticity of forms in a photograph. Photography is a two-dimensional art. A photograph in which forms seem to have plasticity and a three-dimensional look is overcoming this limitation. If one analyses further how this 3-D-effect is achieved, lighting springs to mind. It is the fall-off of light on a form that induces this illusion of plasticity in a two-dimensional picture.(more…)