Friday, 16 July 2010

Fascinated by Lisette Model

Lisette Model, "Reflections", New York, 1939-1945. Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid
© The Lisette Model Foundation, Inc. (1983).

I came across this image by Lisette Model in Black & White Magazine Issue 75. I haven't seen images of the type of reflections that I like to take before, and was instantly fascinated.

I've googled her name and have come across a few more reflection images. I also came across the Aperture Monograph at half price in a bookstore yesterday. Apparently she has done a whole series of reflections, but I found only maybe 5 or 6 on the web.

Why I love this image I guess is that I think i know I know how she took it! And that it was no coincidence.
The sun is shining down the street towards the women passing. Lisette Model is looking into the window from the left side. I think she also has a low viewpoint.

The main woman is on the "border" between light and shadow and that is why she is half lit. Or something else could cause the shadow of course.

The four black hats are people who are in the shade - looking at whatever is inside the window. They are in the shade, that is why they appear as dark silhouettes.  And because they create a black area in the image it is easier to see the reflection of the passers-by. Could even be the only reason the reflection is visible.

Her focus is set on the lightpole in the background. I assume she had no autofocus. I would have tried to set the focus on the main woman passing instead - but it is often difficult to anticipate what will happen. So this is something that has happened to me as well. Although I will never know if this was her intention. I will never know if it was her shutter speed that caused the woman to be a bit blurred either.

Leaving something left for the viewer to explore is important. Or as I managed to say to someone the other day - serve the starter as a teaser - don't dump the whole boiling main course in the lap of your guest :-)


  1. Kjøpte nettopp boka di på Craft & Vision. Gleder meg til å lese den og lære mer om refleksjoner :-)

  2. Hello Eli,
    I see you released an e-book 'Chasing Reflections'