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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eight: Light and shadow shape meaning > Sculpture for sale, Flea Market, Chaotian Palace, Nanjing, China, 2007
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Sculpture for sale, Flea Market, Chaotian Palace, Nanjing, China, 2007

A marble statue of Mao and a terra cotta sculpture of an ancient Chinese lady stand side by side in the shadows of the Flea Market adjoining Nanjing's Chaotian Palace complex. The play of dappled light and shadow on these sculptures was exquisite – the kind of light photographers dream about. I used my spot meter to expose for the highlights on the lady’s hair, and let the rest of the image rest in varying degrees of darkness, implying, rather than showing all of the details. The woman’s face is more heavily shadowed than Mao, suggesting traditional subservience to authority.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/125s f/4.0 at 42.7mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis28-Sep-2007 04:46
Thanks, Patricia. Remember, with me, photography is a process. It begins by recognizing the expressive values of the light. And then "working" the image from various vantage points to make it work. Meanwhile, I use my spot meter to paint the subject with light, and shoot again and again to get the points of emphasis I am looking for. And finally, I fine tune that process on the computer, adjusting exposure,contrast, color, saturation and so on in order to express exactly what I am trying to say. Thanks for appreciating the work that goes into an image such as this. Finding it was not that difficult. There were two other photographers shooting side by side with me. (Tim and Iris) It was a joint discovery.
Patricia Lay-Dorsey28-Sep-2007 03:52
Oh yes, this light is a photographer's dream come true, but not all of us can control our use of such light as effectively as you, Phil. I am also struck by the wonderful incongruity of the subjects in this image, and by your POV. Perfectly composed! And what a terrific eye you have to have picked this out of a busy, crowded flea market! Wonderful symbol of China's often paradoxical past and present.
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