Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Christophe Debon's Character Studies

Photo: Christophe Debon

Recently, I was ranting against the trend of sticking your camera in someone's face to get that so called "gritty street look." Here is someone who is clearly getting very up close and personal, and yet is going for more than just the obvious one trick pony, allowing for a more subtle and nuanced vision.

Most practitioners of street photography also shoot the "much as you can" in focus route. And for good reason, since one is often trying to tie in various aspects of the background into a meaningful composition with the main subject(s)- not to mention, often not having the luxury to accurately focus. Christophe Debon however, even though he is going wide, also opts for a shallow depth of field to really focus on the person* (ie- the portrait) within the composition, provide a more "three dimensional" effect, and allow for a greater sense of physical separation between the subject and his surroundings (which in turn heightens both the contrast and emotional impact between subject and environment).            *takes a second or two to snap into focus on my computer- but well worth the wait...    

Photo: Christophe Debon

A simple, yet effective, combination of techniques, one that has no doubt been used before, but (far as I can recall) not with such consistency, and such consistently good results (in this particular genre). It will be interesting to see how his vision develops... and needless to say, it's oh, so nice (oh so very, very nice) to see digital B&W street photography where the highlights are not blown out.

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