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.