James Walters

The Power of Pigment

James Walters
The Power of Pigment

Last week I gave a two hour presentation to a room full of photographers at the NC Photo Expo hosted by the Professional Photographers of North Carolina.  One section of my talk was about lighting.  Light is one of those subjects that some people get while others just can't seem to grasp.

It was important for me to present potentially complex information in a way that was less about light and more about the concepts of brightness, darkness and contrast.  I chose to tell the story through the eyes of another visual artist.  A makeup artist.

 

With makeup, it's all about creating less contrast, detail and color in parts of the face where you don't want to draw attention. (like shine, freckles or blemishes) and increasing contrast, detail and color in the parts you want people to notice. (around the eyes and lips)

Makeup artists use pigment based makeup.  Painters use paint.  Landscape architects use plants of different colors, textures, sizes and shapes.  Photographers use light.  We are all visual artists using similar techniques with very different media.  The intention is to lead the viewer's eye to what is important in a scene or a space whether two or three dimensional.

If you enjoy this video, go visit my friend Ashley Mooney who did this pretty killer transformation.  It should go without saying, but these time lapse images were color balanced and in no way enhanced or retouched beyond that.  The result you see is straight makeup and a whole heap of talent.

How will history remember you? Okay, that's heavy, and we just met, so I'll take the pressure off and begin again by introducing myself. My mission is to help you answer that first question. I want to show you and your world in a way you haven't seen before and at some point hopefully incite a small riot inside your head. An unapologetic Gen-X warrior for self-expression, I help people tell their stories. Not just the pretty and polished, "made for Linkedin" version, but the real essence of their legacy. At my core, I'm a visual artist. The still photographic image has been my story telling medium for decades. Now I use words, images and on the rare occasion images in motion to push others to be more, do more and express more than they originally thought was reasonable. Are you still reading this? Really? I'm impressed. Moving on... I am Southern, though not fried. In my view, Bar-b-que should be enjoyed with any sauce on hand at the time. There is no need to quibble over which style of sauce best compliments. The real question is, "slaw or hushpuppies?" The correct answer is, "yes!".