Hiding in plain sight.

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Tobie 7 months, 1 week ago.

  • Author
  • #384097

    Erik Fransman

    This is a portrait of my uncle. He is an artist and he specializes in colorful light panels.
    Many of his artworks have a Jewish connection, like the monument for the victims (women) of the WWII concentration camp Ravensbrück.

    Two days ago I was at his studio, filming him for a documentary I am working on.
    When I first asked him to participate in the film he did not want to do it.
    When I asked him why he did not want to participate, his answer was that as a Jew he does not want to show that openly.
    Then I asked him, how can you say that? The Ravensbrück monument is monumental. Very big.
    His answer to that question was: I can hide my identity behind my art. The people do not know it is mine.

    In his studio, he walked passed two colorful panels and was backlit almost silhouette. So I decided to make a portrait of him in silhouette, hiding in plain sight in front of is art, not behind it.
    Does that make any sense?
    Fujifilm X-T3, 1/7500s, f/1.2 , 56mm, ISO 160
    Click for Flickr:
    Hiding in Plain Sight.

  • #384170

    Anne Hornsby

    Erik I really like the drama of this silhouette portrait.   The bit of reflection on his eyeglasses is great.   Suggest you remove stray hairs, maybe crop in a tiny bit from the top to the bit of curved hair.    Great story, too.

  • #384187


    Without your story the audience would be unclear that the back ground was your uncles artwork and I think this needs to be clear in the picture.  Realize this is just part of a documentary but if you want the picture to stand alone it should do so without a long explanation

    The light color behind the hair is unfortunate but a selective levels adjustment may enable you to show the hair in black whilst still leaving the light background color. The black line between the colored panels feels as though its stopping him somehow. This could be because your asking that the picture is read from right to left. I think it works better with the silhouette on the left.

  • #384215

    Tom M

    I do like this photo a lot though. Doesn’t bother me about right to left,left to write. The hair doesn’t bother me either…


  • #384232

    Rob Eyers

    Anything I said would just be me writing to see myself write.

    I like it as is Erik.  It’s a unique image of your uncle. It doesn’t belong in the tank. I hope he likes it.

  • #384240

    Kent DuFault

    I love it- down to every last detail. I love the story, but it’s not necessary to appreciate the image. If a magazine were doing a feature story on your uncle. This could be the cover.

  • #384314

    Lenny Wollitz

    Nice shot Erik.  Even the stray hairs and the black line.  I don’t need the story to appreciate it.  It kinda looks like John Lennon to me 🙂

  • #384360

    Graham Hart

    I love the pic. I love accompanying story. I think the square crop is perfect for this shot. I don’t mind the wispy bits of hair at all.

    I would like to see a verson of the pic with the dark line shopped out because I think it competes with the silhouette for attention which admittedly your uncle eschews. It may well be part of the background art displayed but since the focus of the pic is the silhouette, it becomes a competing element to my eye and splits the image into two halves. Maybe if it had fallen on the thirds line I wouldn’t question it as much?

    In any case I still love it a lot!


  • #384478

    Erik Fransman

    Thank you all for commenting and I am glad that there are members that like it “as is”. Because I am one of them.

    Two things:
    1. About the story behind it: I provided the story to give some background and my train of thought. I often agree that if you have to tell the story in words, you missed the point in your image. I’m this case I don’t feel that. If you hear the story it adds a layer but the image works without it.
    (Ever saw the movie 2001, a Space Odyssey? A movie no one understood except if they got it explained to them. Still it worked and is one of the classic SF movies. Just to be clear, I do not compare my image to 2001. I would not dare)

    2. About the black line in the middle. I have a version where I removed it but that does not work well for me. Without the black line, the BG becomes a large colorful blob. The line kind of boxes him in.

    Not that it matters, or shows for that matter, my uncle is 89 years old.

    • #384767

      Kent DuFault

      I agree. The black line is absolutely necessary to the composition.

  • #384822


    Love it! I don’t mind the hair – in fact I think it makes him look ‘real’!

    OK, now I’ve transgressed on all of the ST rules so let me get out of here! 😉

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