Today’s photograph is that of St. Merrique in my studio last year, wearing one of the masks that I had bought in Venice the year before.
In this image I was trying for something a little unusual. Normally, I would not think of photographing a dark skinned model like St. Merrique against a black background as I’ve done here, fearing that the model’s skin tone would blend in too much with the background. In this case, however, that’s exactly what I was aiming for, as I really wanted to highlight the whiteness of the mask, getting it to stand out as much as possible.
There are, however, certain limits to that. I may have wanted to punch up the contrast a bit more on the scan to make the mask stand out more, but that would have resulted in losing detail in the mask, which I don’t want.
Finally, I asked Merrique to hold back her arms as she is so the photo would look similar to a sculpture bust.