Robert Mapplethorpe - emulation

Robert Mapplethorpe is known for his creative light and use of shadow in his photos of flowers, portraits and the human figure. Knowing a good bit of Mapplethorpe’s work is erotic photography or studies of the human figure I knew I would need to have some figure studies. I also chose to photograph an orchid.

I chose to work from daylight. Of course it was cloudy and overcast. My light source was a window across the room. For the photograph of the orchid I did several studies and settled on shot “A” as indicated in my style sheet. I thought this photo showed rich contrast with subtle texture in the leaves of the plant. I also considered the position and figured under certain pretenses it could be considered erotic.

That same day I shot figure studies B, C, D. I thought these were great photos of muscular legs. Showing power and movement with great contrast creative use of shadow. Mapplethorpe’s dynamic photos of muscular black men with excellent use of light and shadow inspired these shots.

My final sample G. was taken in another session. The light source was the same as the previous session. I wanted another photograph of the human figure, but I wanted to incorporate another part of Mapplethorpe’s style. I used a leather strap to bide the hands of the subject. I thought binding the hands behind the head would follow the S&M style of Mapplethorpe. Although most of his work was symmetrical, he did have some pieces that were not. 


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