Analysing lighting – Herb Ritts

Over the easter break we were given the task to find ten images and discuss the lighting used in each image. The first image that I have chosen to discuss is this image of Jonny Depp by Herb Ritts. This is a classic looking, black and white celebrity portrait – the lighting is kept simple so that our eyes are drawn to the subjects face. This is done to promote the celebrity and make him easily identifiable to viewers. I think that a soft light has been used on the left side of the subject creating the slight shadow on the right side of his face. We see a soft light on the top left of the subjects head, which highlights the shape of his hair, the light also shines on the blades the subject is wearing. The subject is dressed as a the character Edward Scissorhands a role that people recognise him for, so the image seems to purposely promote the celebrity – this could be done to gain popularity, someone may respond to the image more positively if they are a fan of Jonny Depp. However I think this portrait is visually striking, with or without the celebrity, this image is very creative and I think the composition of the image really draws our eyes to the face – I also like how the blades/ hands frame and guard the face as it works well the subjects slightly startled expression.

 

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