Whoops! no post yesterday. Frankly, i didn't have anything to say, so i didn't say it. Today i'm back to my regular, blabby self, so here we go. These weeks of blogging have got me thinking about the subjective nature of photography. Basically, while photography is seen as an objective or documentary medium, the photographer is always making choices. Where to place the camera, what time to take the pic, lighter vs. darker exposure, cropping, - then there's all the goodies in photoshop or other photo-editing programs. And i've never seen an exhibit, real or online, where a photographer shows every photo they took. You select the ones which further your intended effect. Vogue will choose different photos to publish as opposed to the ones National Enquirer would select of the same celeb on the same day. As members of a media-savvy culture, we all 'know' this, but making those choices myself every day has made me much more conscious of the choices behind what i see out there on TV, in magazines and on the web.
These two photos point up some of the issues. The basic purpose of an outfit diary is to show how particular clothes and accessories look on a person's body. But vanity comes into it, and the difference between how things look in real life vs. how the camera sees them. A slight change of angle in a pose can add 5-10 pounds, making a big difference in how the outfit looks. Some bloggers take on the task of creating a magazine editorial feel, shooting in dramatic settings at exotic angles, using props and photographic effects to create an artistic mood. It's all about choices, your own desires and what you see as the purpose of your blog.
I want to document my outfits to become more organized and creative with my wardrobe. The camera doesn't love me*, and i don't want to look so gawky or awkward that i give an unrealistic view of how the outfit comes across in real life (which is, after all, where i live). And i'm very visual, and i get ideas for pictures, so it's fun to try something new instead of shooting in the same spot and pose every day. (Though with my experience here, i've seen the wisdom of that popular approach. I am keeping track of 'successful' set-ups for less creative or busier days.) Plus, i have a smaller wardrobe (which is how i like it) so varying poses and backgrounds can add to the visual interest when the clothes don't change. I'm also considering selling clothes on etsy at some time, and appealing, accurate pictures are vital to that purpose.
So. The second photo shows the clothes and details much more clearly than the first. But the first (taken just 5 minutes before the second) is a much more appealing picture. The light is golden and dappled and it highlights the figure while tying it into the environment through the similar highlighting of the small trees. But it also washes out all the clothing details. The pose is relaxed and happy, but it hides the shoes.
You can clearly see all the clothing and accessories details in the second photo - because that gorgeous light is gone. And the pose is kind of awkward, though it does show the shoes, and our relationship to the brachiating primates. You can see the clothes better, but which picture would you rather be a part of?
So i show them both to you. I prefer the first but include the second to honor the ostensible purpose of this blog.
* Video's a different story. I look great on surveillance screens.
Top: own design, inspired by some girls wander
Skirt: own design, inspired by The Hidden Seed
Belt: vintage Coach
Shoes: Dansko Marcelle
All else: gifts