Sunday, October 9, 2011

“Vie de Boheme 1913” (By: Hugh Jones) - Camera Obscura

Photography is a huge hobby of mine and I am incredibly conscious of perspective and light when it comes to people’s shots. So, when it came to this photo, I was overwhelmed. I am still not entirely sure as to how exactly this picture was taken, the light used, the perspective – I am completely enraptured. For starters, the use of black and white film is a slowly “dying” form. Yet, seeing this piece really makes me hope for people to keep pursuing it. However, what does seem to be incredible about this photo is the way in which the photographer, Hugh Jones, was able to project this photo onto a woman’s body. Or at least, I assume that is how this photo was completed.

The form on which the cover of Vie de Boheme by Henry Murger is projected is onto that of a naked woman. I looked up Vie de Boheme and found out that it is a compilation of loosely related stories that all take place in a bohemian life in Paris in the 1840s. This makes complete sense for Jones’s inspiration. To project the cover of a bohemian inspired novel onto the free body of a woman speaks volumes to the nature of freedom of expression and self-expression. The way in which the image curves into the woman’s features, the shadow of the second hand mirroring over the body, the angel looking into the center of the frame, and the soft lines and angles that highlight so subtly the details of her body and the picture cover all align perfectly. I am still in awe of this photo and the thought behind combining the two aspects for his inspiration – taking this piece that was written so long ago and making it still matter in the present.

- Jennifer A.


Popped said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Popped said...

This is a beautiful photo. At first, I thought they had actually painted the design on her. I agree with you on the artistry of the projection; you see people paint things on themselves, tattoo designs, or wear makeup, but you don't really ever seen this kind of optical illusion effect. I think it's also interesting that the cover is meant to blend in with her body as opposed to the more common philosophy of using the body as a canvas without remembering the body. I think blending of lines between cover and body make a more profound image than if the cover had dominated her body. Great photo!

---Jen G.

Popped said...

I love black and white photos so much and this one is no different. I feel as if I could look at it for hours because there is so much detail and little "nooks and crannies." It's very cool how this image is still so gripping despite the fact that it is in black and white. In fact, if it were in color, I bet it wouldn't be nearly as profound as it is. This gives me some inspiration of what to include in my own final project - perhaps a black and white photo!

amra said...

gorgeous image.

Popped said...

Wow. What a cool picture. It took me a minute to understand it and I totally didn't notice the angel until you pointed it out in your comment. The longer I look at it the more cool pieces I find. I know next to nothing about photography and so would have no idea how this picture was taken. What I think is really cool about it is on the left side it looks like cracked glass underneath the woman's body. Maybe that is a continuation of the patterns on her body and I'm just being stupid about it, but I thought it looked interesting all the same.


Popped said...

Definitely a beautiful image. This may be just me being cynical, but I do question the assumption that it's a celebration of freedom of expression. Yes, it could be considered racy...but wasn't it true at the time that many models for art were prostitutes? Not much freedom if you have so little choice of occupation.

Still, as everyone else has said, this is gorgeous. I love black and white photography. I assume that because you referenced film, it said somewhere in the magazine that the image was created traditionally rather than digitally? I don't know much about photography, so I can't always tell the difference between a photo that has genuinely been developed in black and white and one that has just been tweaked in aftereffects.

--Sarah Lawrence