In this past week’s MEDA101 Computer lab, we were given the task to recreate a photograph, we were able to choose that photograph from a given selection.
My partner and I decided on Bill Henson’s, Untitled, 1985/86, (as shown above) the most beautiful and yet the most difficult photo to emulate out of the selection we were given. However, we were willing to give it a shot (pardon the pun).
This is what we managed to create.
This photograph displays a suburban area, seemingly late at night. The moonlight reflecting off of the rooves of the houses and shining through the clouds, and children playing in the grass fields that are in the foreground.
The lighting was perhaps the most difficult part to recreate, as we were shooting in the middle of the day. Luckily, it was overcast, so the clouds in our photo look somewhat similar. Although our photograph captured more pink shades, whereas Henson’s has more dark, brown and green shades.
In Bill Henson’s photograph, it’s almost as if there are 3 sectors; the clouds, the rooftops, and the grass field. Due to the low exposure and contrast, all of those sectors seem to blend together to become one. In our photograph however, we only managed to capture 2 sectors, which strongly juxtapose each other as light and dark. This is partly due to the time of day, yet we also mistakenly captured more sky than necessary.
Henson’s POV also seems much closer to his subjects, because of this, Henson’s photograph almost creates a 2D effect.
Bill Henson has been working on his Untitled photographs since 1974 and has built a collection that spans over 3 decades. All of these photographs are “Untitled”, yet they are categorised into different time frames, and are all similar in style. All have low lighting, usually coming from one source. His aims to capture light through the dark hours of the night create an isolated and tranquil effect. He has also sought to give visual representation to the awkward and unsophisticated experiences of adolescence.
Whilst my partner and I couldn’t exactly capture the essence of Bill Henson’s photography, we like to think of it as a valuable learning experience.
Perhaps photography isn’t as simple as I thought it was.