*ooof*: Saint Armitage

If it was down to me, I could go on forever, giving all of Ascroft’s fabulous images the *ooof* treatment . But even a creature of Hobbit… eh… habit!! habit, habit habit like myself realises that it might be time to look at a different visual style every once in a while. To check with my esteemed readership, I put a little poll out there last week, so *you*  could decide what I was going to look at today. The result was *tadah* a Tracey Nearmy press image from Sydney. [One day I *will* get this “tweeting” thing right and figure out how to do it properly and elicit a proper response.]

In terms of press photography, the shot I have singled out in my *ooof* today is not necessarily the most usable one. There are other shots in the series that would probably work better in the pages of a magazine or newspaper. The close-ups  would allow unfamiliar readers a better look at this man, and the image of Armitage sitting on the bench is visually far more interesting with its composition and the deliberate breaking of symmetry. But I have decided on this shot for one reason alone – I like Armitage’s facial expression in this. I like the relaxed atmosphere reflected in the posture as much as the face – the calm and unstressed look on his face which to me speaks of being comfortable in the situation. There is an air of patience in his look, not resignation or tension at being photographed, but being content in the present. He is allowing the photographer to do her job, and he gives her time and space to do it. Also, his overall pose looks natural – slightly less deliberate than the bench image of the two versions of Armitage leaning against the wall on his elbows.

TraceyNearmy-03

“Tell you what I don’t need/No heaven sent deity”
Richard Armitage is Guylty’s ordinary angel.
Image by Tracey Nearmy, Sourced via RAnet.com

Now, Tracey Nearmy’s pictures from the Sydney Hobbit-DVD junket is a completely different kettle of fish to Ascroft’s studio portraiture of RA. It looks more like a photo call than a scheduled shoot, although from the lack of similar images in the same location by other photographers we probably should deduce that this was *not* a photo call. (A photo call is a pre-planned photo opportunity for PR reasons, usually called by the marketers behind a product, person or institution. Media representatives, including photographers, are invited to attend and get information as well as photo opportunities in order to publicise the event/product/person in the media.) Having trawled the internet, I have only seen images by Nearmy regarding this particular location.

The location this was shot at looks more like a photo call place, though. Armitage is photographed outside in a yard. The location does not really look entirely ideal to me – there is an awful lot to see, but Nearmy has managed the background problems very well in her images. Now doubt she was familiar with the location, as is essential for a press photographer. Scouting the location prior to shooting is a given in this business. In public places that also includes researching the weather forecast, the position of the sun in the sky at the time of the proposed shoot, or whether there is likely to be any traffic/disturbance during the shoot. With all this covered, she has to make the background work for her shots of Armitage. That means pre-planning the composition in her head – incorporating the stone wall, the box hedge, various palm trees of different heights, and some buildings in the background, in a visually pleasing way.
Nearmy decides on a symmetrical composition in this shot. She has placed her sitter in front of the box hedge in the middle of the frame, in the centre between two palm trees in the background. She manages to arrange the lines of the surrounding arrangement in calming symmetry – Armitage is placed centrally and directly in front of a palm plant, the leaves of which spread like a fan behind him. (Only the roof line of the buildings are slightly unsightly – but she hardly had control over that.) She has even arranged her sitter in a symmetrical pose, with both of his hands hidden in his trouser pockets.

What is really interesting, however, is the way the sun plays a part in the image. At the time of the shoot, the sun must have been fairly high in the sky, possibly about noon-ish (compare the other shots from the same shoot – the shadows indicate the sun is high.) The sun is not directly visible, but there are traces of it in the picture, namely the highlights on the palm leaves and on Armitage’s hair. It also leaves traces of a different kind in the photo: a bright misty streak near the palm trunk on the left, a circular spot just by Armitage’s right hand and a few overlapping white circles at the top edge of the image. This is caused by shooting against the sun, particularly as the sun is just about outside of the frame, causing what is called lens flare. Some of this could possibly have been taken out in Photoshop – especially the top flare could have easily been cut out. However, Nearmy has decided to leave the traces of the sun in the image, and she may have done that on purpose. (There is, btw, also evidence of artificial light in the image – because Nearmy was shooting against the sun, she had to use some fill flash in order to illuminate Armitage from the front – otherwise his face would have been in shadow.)

Lens flare in an image – although strictly speaking a technical fault – is occasionally deliberately used to convey a sense of drama, or to emphasise a perspective, especially when shooting from a low vantage point upwards which most often seems to be the case, what with Armitage towering over most mere mortals. It is not quite true here – Nearmy appears to be shooting from head level. And whether the effect is deliberate or simply overinterpretation on my part – I quite like the added association that it gives to the image. The sun appears to be shining directly onto Armitage’s head – it is not quite directly above him, but the lens flare creates a sight line that points from the flare spot at the top edge directly to Armitage’s head – and seems to reflect there on his hair. This effect is reminiscent of religious art, especially depictions of Christ.  You have all seen images that depict saints or Christ himself, illuminated from above or shown with a halo. Both these associations are evoked for me in this image – with the light shining down on Armitage (as described above) and the fan of the palm leaves acting as a halo. You could also possibly interpret the fanned out leaves of the palm as angel wings. In any case, there is a quasi-religious iconography there in all three possibilities.

It is far-fetched, though. I very much doubt that Nearmy had this in mind when she placed Armitage where he is standing. It is a by-product of the composition which I have singled out in my analysis. But if you humour and follow me further into an interpretation of the composition, this is one of the things you could take from it  [note: any interpretation is based not only on the tangible and corroborated facts, but also informed by the opinions, ideas and experiences of the interpreter]: This is acting god Armitage, singled out from the heavens with talent and good looks. He basks in the glory of stardom (the light shining from above), he is a saintly human being, a decent man, he flies on with the wings of his acting talent (the palm leaf fan), he is the messiah of our fandom.

No, I do not believe that one minute. But I find it very amusing to give the individual elements of this picture a meaningful place in the composition and to find out whether it fits the subject. If this proves anything then it probably proves the point that you can find evidence for anything *in* anything – or that you can push an interpretation in a certain direction, if you want to. And since I have been reliably informed that I have already been sucked into a cult, I might as well own up to it – yes, deep, deep down, I quite like glorifying this man, praising his gentle and intelligent behaviour, drooling swooning over his attractive peaches looks, and commending his considerable acting talent. Looking at him – whether on film or on stills – is like meditating.  It’s a reprieve in an otherwise busy life, an uplifting experience, and a past time that gives me pleasure of many unmentionable kinds. The objectifying oglers’ cult is beckoning. I hear your call. I regret nothing.

~ by Guylty on May 21, 2013.

109 Responses to “*ooof*: Saint Armitage”

  1. I’m in with you in the cult. I regret nothing. Very nice and funny post!
    My fave pics from the set by Nearmy are the 2 close-ups. I never saw anything in which RA looks so beautiful. Sorry I didn’t see the poll but grateful for the choice 😉

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    • Interesting how different we all see things. It always amazes me. I am not *that* keen on the Sydney pictures. Yeah, because I am a shallow, superficial bitch *haha* and I find the studio stuff much more beautiful. Totally subjectively so *ggg*

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      • oh, but I am very weird, you know. Sometimes I like photos that others dislike and the opposite! But I can perfectly understand why you prefer to analyze studio stuff 😉 And thank you for doing it, teaching us things we totally ignore about the science of photograph 🙂

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  2. I regret nothing!! Love this post.

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    • Hehe, I take it you are in the cult, then, Christine. Too late to regret, anyway *muhahaha*. The forces of evil are already clutching your soul… 😉

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      • Oh, I’m well inducted into this cult. Happily so! I’ve got the Forces Of Evil handbag, T-shirt, lunchbox, and sun visor. I’m waiting impatiently on my Thorin(tm) body-sized pillowcase as well. ROWR. Wish they made a Gizzy one, then I’d have a sleep-sandwich. 😉

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        • Wait. Not “have” a sleep sandwich; “be” a sleep sandwich. And not really about sleep, ifyaknowhwatImean (andIthinkyado)

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        • A handbag??? *giggles* A lunchbox??? *drools* A pillowcase??? *gasps*. Any chance of some photo evidence *begs*.
          ??? Have only noticed now that I am not yet following your blog. To be corrected.

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          • (snicker) I just thought what we could “decorate” the Thermos with in the Thorin lunchbox (HINT: NOT A DRAGON OR A MOUNTAIN). 😉 In the “Black Sky” lunchbox, of course it would be a silo. In the “North & South” lunchbox, the Thermos would look like one proud mill chimney, rising (cough) tall. For Harry Kennedy? A pencil, natch. For John Porter, though… for John Porter… hmm. It might just have to abandon all subtlety and simply be a – well, a hot, throbbing, hard – gun.

            I certainly hope you didn’t think I was going to say “penis”. I am NOT that sort of, oh wait, yes I totally am. 😉

            I’ll have to find the pillowcases.They actually have them for the Heirs of Durin: Thorin, Fili, and Kili, all larger than life (Literally, I think they’re probably 5’5″ or so) and ready to snuggle. They look GREAT. 😀

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          • And thank you for following!! 😀

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  3. Here is my uneducated and simple response to this picture: “Oh RIchard, standing in front of the spiky plant with leather and denim and beard” Followed by a very intelligent and thoughtful *THUD*

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  4. The Call. I’ve heard it clearly. Wow, I knew there must be something virtually divine to this man. Thanks S. for pointing this out so bluntly: RA could be my sunlit, sun-bathed angel. 😀 Why oh why has this strikingly beautiful plant-halo not caught my eye before? Mostly intrigued by all this symmetric shapes (he’d for sure be excited about this, as an almostly-architect, you know !!! LOL) and his nearly painful-to-look-at good looks (YES! Sometimes it’s a really hard job) , he in my mind, still always has this more down (way down!!) to earth attitude. Harrrrumph! His open and welcoming expression leaves so much room for plain meditation and/or heavenly (g-dly!) fantasies. Quite like your quote: „one can find evidence for anything *in* anything“. Mmmmh.. Let me think…….. Love this!!

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  5. I actually disliked the composition of this photo the first time I saw it, despite the perfect loveliness of the sitter. In my own entirely uneducated amateur attempts at photography, I’ve noticed that in general I’m aesthetically put off by shots where the subject is centrally placed over a symmetrical background feature. Something about the effect is too, I don’t know, *blunt* for me.

    But your whimsical interpretation gives me something to appreciate in this shot, and now I like it better. Thanks. 😉

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    • You know what, your feeling has not misled you, Alyssa. Symmetry of background composition or framing is – quite frankly – boring. Yes, it is outwardly pleasing, but it is also quite unnatural, it is forced, it is predictable. This image might actually have looked better if it was framed as a portrait, not a landscape, cropping closer to the subject. As it is, there is a lot of background and little sitter. But hey, yeah, anything is good as long as Armitage is in it *ggg*. Thanks for commenting.

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  6. Another educational post, guylty! Love the info about photo calls and press shoot planning. Not the most drool-worthy of the Sydney pics, but I like your interpretation. The Angel Armitage? For his sake, I hope not! 😉 I hope he likes to be naughty sometimes. LOL

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    • Hahaha, I like where you are coming from *naughtylaugh*. Ah, I am sure he is a regular guy – and leaves his saintly demeanor at home every once in a while.

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  7. Oh, and that charity drawing is just….embarrassing! LOL!!

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  8. He is divine

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  9. Oh, yeah, in the cult, no doubt about it. This actually reminds me of a painting of the Annunciation, with the angel Gabriel apparently lit by two sources and in the middle of the composition, with the Madonna on the right. (It’s early, contempoary with Giotto, I think.) The posture of the angel almost suggests that he is to be the instrument of divine insemination. I can see Richard as (a highly suggestive) angel in this photograph.

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    • Leigh!!!!!!!!!! “Insemination” – whether divine or not – and Armitage in one sentence, and you are responsible for a thousand ovaries bursting!!!!
      I was actually searching for some images to link in and to back up my theory, but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I should check out your suggestions. Thanks!

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    • LOL!!! “instrument of divine insamination” 😀
      Oh yes,Leigh! he can be the perpetrator of immaculate Conception. Beware, Ladies and Virgins !(Sorry Lads;))

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  10. I got that otherworldly vibe from the lighting on this one as well…there’s a sort of beatific look to his face here that reminded me a lot of Medieval and Renaissance images of Christ…I thought Byzantine icon at first (halo and all) but the expressions in that corpus are decidedly grim. Nice segue into the cult discussion 🙂 Cults have gotten a bad name in the late 20th century – we could turn that around!! 😉

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    • Glad to hear that someone with an art history insight agrees with me there. As I said – it was far-fetched, at least in terms of intentional connotations. But the similiarities with religious iconography are just too uncanning not to mention them. No wonder that had me thinking about cults. I mean, I wouldn’t mind a picture of a prostrate Armitage in every room of my house… (Total aside: nearly sent this of writing “prostate”. Oh my, oh my… the cult definitely has already brainwashed me…)

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      • LMAO…clearly the “bible” of your cult is Hobbit fanfiction!

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        • ? is there a Thorin fanfic feature the prostate?

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          • Ummmm, allegedly (not that I have personal knowledge mind you 😉 ) Check AO3

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          • Well, in my fanfiction, I postulated that dwarfs do not have prostates, but instead a sensitive gland that pumps the seminal fluid and musk glands that result in musky satisfied-dwarf farts.,

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            • How did I miss that one?!

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            • OMG LOL TMI ROFL – I can merely speak in acronyms… (off to AO3 as I type *whistlesinnocently*)

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            • Do you have a link for this story, please?

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              • Sorry, but I don’t link to Dreamer Fiction, because it is a private, members-only site. However, if you are a member, go to the ladyanne’s fic subboard. That’s me, and you’ll find my two Thorin stories there, as well as my other stories.

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                • I should have phrased that better. I am a member and tried looking under that titles you gave, but could not find them; still too new over there. Thank you.

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                • Leigh — Ali gave me permission to link to it about two years ago. If that permission is rescinded, please let me know. Thanks.

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                  • I’ll check for current policy, but if Ali explicitly granted you permission, then you still have it.

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                    • It might have been Hedgey. I think I still have msg in my inbox there.

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                    • I checked, and Ali’s post about links to DF is about making sure that when you post the link, your readers understand that it is a membership-by-recommendation board and that we screen to stop minors gaining access to an over-18 board. So it’s okay to post links, but readers need to understand that this may not give them access to the story.

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                    • yeah, if you look at my links in the past, I pretty well always say that.

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      • Something else that occurred to me in my ramblings today was that the beard really softens out the angles of his face (which I totally love BTW), and that lends to the whole saintly, angelic, beatific, whateveric vibe 🙂

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        • Good point. Although a beard is tricky in my book – while it softens, it also ages. And especially in context of a religious connotation, I am reminded of that image we had as children of God as a bushy-beard-guy, dressed in a big white nightie, holding a long staff and ready to scold and shout at us. *shudders* No, I don’t want to be reminded of that beard 😉

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          • Good grief no… I am particularly enamored of all those beautiful angles that are currently obscured from view…I was trying to think of an example, maybe Christ in DaVincis Last Supper…bearded but still youthful, soft little smile, you get the gist I’m sure – isn’t it quite early in your neck’o the woods? I should go to bed, but am always keyed up after night classes

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            • Yep – it’s now a quarter to 8 in the morning. I have to get up at 6 am every day and work my morning shift in my journo job 🙂

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  11. Thanks Guylty for another wonderful post. I must confess that image give me so many divine thoughts…. Besides, aparently, I’m developing problems to concentrate: my mind keeps going back to the part where you write about his hands hidden in his trouser pockets…. 🙂

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  12. I love this post and I regret nothing!! Thanks Guylty!
    In the title “Saint Armitage” – in the comments words like: inseminator,prostate ,sensitve glands and so on ( thanks for expanding my vocabulary, BTW! )
    You are fantastically insane 😀 I’m dying with laughter!

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    • I have just tested – when you put those keywords into Google, nothing comes up. *phew* OTOH, my reputation is already ruined. So there, we might as well thoroughly wreck it.

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  13. All I can think of is to give him a hug with my arms inside the jacket. I like the pose and the hands in his pockets.

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  14. Thank you for alerting us to the plant-halo! *giggles with profane glee* It’s such a striking pic with a strong, almost Renaissance composition, and — ahh! — RA’s beautiful face is illuminated as if by heavenly command. Very good use of the harsh Australian light. As a newspaper hack I’m guessing Tracey had at most 15 mins to shoot the whole series; she might have got there 5-10 mins ahead of time to do a reccy and test the light before the car pulled up and RA was disgorged, then she would have had to quickly assess him, make him comfortable and try to work out what sort of shots he might agree to. (Some subjects refuse close-ups, but RA obviously has nothing to fear.) Snap snap snap, then she would have raced to her next job and he to his.
    I’m also guessing the shoot was done in the Ultimo / Pyrmont / Darling Harbour area, just west of the CBD; a very old part of Sydney that was derelict 25 years ago but has sprung anew and is full of media companies. That landscaping looks contemporary but mature.

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    • Thanks for that insight into the workings of a quick photo-call, Groovergreen. That’s the sort of assessment I would have made – of both the time Nearmy had and how she probably used it. It speaks for her professionalism how well her shots came out. (And I don’t even mean the heavenly distraction of having RA in front of her lens *haha*).

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      • I haven’t worked with Tracey, but if she’s on the AAP staff she must be one of the best news togs in town; AAP pays crap, but the chosen togs know their shots will be picked up worldwide.
        Just noticed the 19th century chimney pots, top left-hand corner, Definitely Pyrmont / Ultimo. Damn! All that real estate I could have bought cheap once upon a time!

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        • Yeah, all those press agencies pay pretty crap. I can tell you – photographers don’t do it for the money, they do it for the love…
          I noticed those chimney pots, too, and was wondering what kind of area the shots were taken in. Interesting. I am also intrigued by the name “Pyrmont” (there is a town of that name in Germany). Will have to research 😀

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  15. His positioning had actually reminded me of a peacock with the palm plant behind him serving as his tail. Like he would need to do that to attract our attention! 😉

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    • Snicker’s Mom I was thinking the same thing about the peacock but not brave to comment about it. It was my 1st thought.

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      • Katie – remember: “Never think you can’t tell me things”. 😀 *coughs*… Free forum. Anything goes. And the writer is not always right, anyway! x

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    • How could I overlook the peacock similarities?? Thanks for pointing that out, Snickers’ Mom, that is really well observed. It’s funny, because I *did* actually note the exotic flowers in the shot – you can see those orange-and-purple buds to the left of him by the palm tree – and I had wondered to myself whether I was going to say something about the fact that they are called “Bird of Paradise”. But the peacock analogy is so much better. I don’t really think that RA behaves like a peacock, strutting his stuff and deliberately wanting the attention of his fans, but as an actor he obviously has to advertise his wares and show off his assets. It’s quite an apt interpretation, I think. Ahhh, wish I had seen that – there would’ve been much meat for interpretation (and some cheeky fun) in that.

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  16. W/o having read comments yet —

    Thanks for the superb explanation of the “shooting against the sun” and how it works here. I had wondered about that — as it’s such an elementary rule of photography that even I (anti-photography wie ich bin) knew it. For me, anyway, I thought she captured one of my favorite lighting effects on Armitage’s face, which was the face half in shadow (while still allowing us to see the shadowed side of the face clearly).

    I liked all the photos in this shot, and I found this one quite emotional. I don’t buy the “saint” thing because I spend too much time on that topic, probably, 🙂 and I notice you are also forwarding it lightly as opposed to definitely.

    I had, however, noticed the sun effect over his head as well when I magnified the photo on my screen, and my reaction to it was conditioned by the background, and this is why, had I run the zoo, I would have left it in and was grateful that Nearmy did — to me there’s something about the angle of fall light that is incredibly emotionally powerful (and makes me want to quote Rilke and makes me think “Jage die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein”). I’m probably making this up but I feel like fall light has some special quality, different from the Winter but especially from the spring. It speaks both of things in their full bloom, at their fullest splendor, but also of things that are quite consciously vergänglich (transitory?) and even more precious because of that, because we know they are a glimpse of something that we will not have forever (also an association I frequently make when looking at photographs). To me that bead of light at the top calls to mind the kind of pictures that one took on late summer or Indian summer vacations as a teenager — sometimes of people in swim gear or whatever, the last weekend before school starts — where the light pools and reminds you of its intensity just as it’s about to start to wane away. Cast over such an amazing flower of human beauty, the message to me of the light in the photo (along with the face half in shadow) is something like — look at this amazing beauty and remember both its intensity and its fragility.

    OK, back to look at comments!

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    • Isn’t it amazing how many memories, associations, connotations flow, just from looking at one photograph? You make a good point about the autumn light in the image, something I did not really think about much when I wrote the analysis, but which now actually helps me understand why the sun was low enough to be captured at that angle but *in* the frame – I was pretty sure it was mid-day-ish when the shoot took place, but it didn’t reconcile in my mind that summer sun is at its highest. Duh – not in the Southern hemisphere… Anyway, you are right, leaving the traces of the sun in the image was a good decision on part of the photographer. It adds the associations that you have mentioned – sweetness of late summer, the melancholy of fall, the transitoryness of life – plus it explains the unusual lighting in the shot.
      May I just correct you there on the lighting bit a teeny bit: His face is not quite in half shadow – the fill light that is being used lights him up too much for it (half shadow would literally leave half of the face dark). It would be a bit more dramatic than this. Having said that – I love dramatic lighting effects with shadow, especially half shadow, where the effect is a reminder of the dichotomy that is essential to human consciousness. A ying and yang kind of oppositeness that has to exist for us to be whole.
      I loved your explanation and reminiscences of your memories of indian summer light, as captured by yourself. There are several things at work in it. It tends to emit a warm glow that comes across as a golden hue on images, which obviously does wonders to our complexions *ggg*. It also comes with dramatic shadows, thanks to the low angle of the sun – lengthening and distorting the shadows. But yes, it is the connotations of it that make it deliciously emotional – the reminder that the end is near, that things will change, the bittersweetness of that realization. Together with the documentary propensities of photography, it makes for a melancholy reminder that life is transitory and fragile – as you put it yourself. You have actually put it much more positive than I have, focusing on the beauty and on life. I tend to be more morose and see decay and death. Well, you are a historian. I am merely forward-thinking *haha*…

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      • Me again. May I give an Australian perspective on autumn and its light? I wish I could agree that there is something about this season that is poignant, something resonant with the fragility of life, as there is for northern hemisphereans. But for us in south-eastern Australia, autumn is the prime of the year. We love it, and look forward to it. No longer is it 40-plus blistering degrees C, as it so often is during the Melbourne summer, or horribly humid in Sydney. The temperature is 15-20 degrees C, the air is crisp, the light is startlingly clear (one reason Tracey’s pics are so exquisite in their detail) and we the people feel invigorated and inspired. When I’m out on my bike doing my paper round (just keeping it real; it’s a Gen X thing, go with me) I’m dazzled by the trees in their autumnal splendour, and by the magnificent clarity of the light. No season is more awesome than this.
        And so, in Australia’s prime season, we see RA photographed in the prime of his masculine beauty. The right man, in the right time and place.

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        • This is why I love the fandom – and blogs such as this. Because you meet *real* people who can actually tell you something about life. Thanks for that insight, Groovergreen. It is fascinating to read how you describe the impact of the seasons on the Australians. Yeah, as one of those unfortunates who live in a country that is mainly characterised by relentless rain, I would not have seen the significance of autumn the way you describe it. Hehe, I am laughing very slightly at the way you “accomodate” the season (autumn) with “prime of his masculine beauty”. I completely concur with the latter (although autumn is usually already seen as “past the prime”).
          oh dear oh dear – apologies to Mr A – you ARE in the prime of your beauty! And you get better with age. Plus, I’ll be aging with you, so there 😀

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        • I’m totally ready to believe that the reaction to autumn is different for Australians. But I’ve never lived in the so. hemisphere, so I don’t share those associations. About the furthest north I’ve lived is 54 N, and the furthest south is 19 N. When I lived at 30 N (which I did for about fourteen years, total) we had the scorching summer — by the early 2000s, a good six weeks of 100-105 F temperatures daily — and I certainly had the reaction of relief that fall was *finally* here, which was different than my feelings where I grew up at 44 N, which had a brutal winter (distinctly more brutal than 54 N, incidentally) where fall was not necessarily welcomed by all. But I continued to have the reaction in all these places of fall as a season of change that pointed out the temporariness of life. This probably has something to do with the way I was raised (to be sensitive to seasons, eat w/seasons, and notice religious correlations to seasons), but also with the light angle, I conclude, because I can’t correlate weather reactions strongly to latitude. The cold was much worse at 44 N than at 54 N, and the heat at 30 N much more devastating than at 19 N.

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        • I just looked up Sydney and it’s 33 S. I guess what I’m saying is that if you looked at a picture taken at 33 N (approximately where I lived for fourteen years), you might make the light associations that you make b/c of familiarity w/Sydney even though the reaction of people at 33 N to that photo could be different.

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          • *lol* I reckon we have our own little North And South thing going on here! And yes, we in the south appreciate the seasons have different associations for you. Hell, there are still Australians who spray fake snow on their windows because they think the only true Christmas is a white one, and that what happens on a scorching Dec 25 (often a barbecue by the beach or in a park, wearing Santa hats and, for those who dare, Speedos) is not the real thing.
            So, for us, autumn does not have that traditional sense of decline and fall. The equinox is the real start of our year, after the torpor of summer, and it’s about refreshing ourselves before we launch into the frenzy of work and play that is winter. If RA can be enticed back for a Comic Con (usually held in winter) he can bust out the fine tailoring … such as the gorgeous Burberry coat from the Ascroft pics, and perhaps a cashmere scarf, deliciously soft, in the sweetest of baby blues. Oh my!

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      • When I saw the photo, I thought, “autumn,” and then I thought, “can’t be, it’s the end of April,” and then I thought, “southern hemisphere.” So I had the same problem. But once I thought that, all was clear about my reaction to it.

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  17. Lovely, detailed observations here – as always. Those images from Australia are stunning, and for all the reasons you mentioned. I especially think they are attractive for his wonderfully relaxed, comfortable manner. He is quiet happiness in a sunshine-perfect day.

    Speaking of saintly, there are some Thorin images circulating on Tumblr that certainly qualify for, or are reflective of, a certain Deity status. Have to be careful with that – however divine Richard may be.

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    • I agree with you, Crystal – even if I am not a massive fan of these images, his demeanor in them is certainly happy, comfortable, relaxed. And that is something I appreciate on an altogether different level than in the realm of aesthetic appreciation – because I take an interest in the man, I suppose.
      Re. saintly: Which Thorin images are we talking about, Crystal? Which deity?

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  18. You will not be surprised, dear S, at why this picture drives me nuts. Any guesses? I’ll give you a couple of minutes to peruse the image and figure it out…tick, tock, tick, tock…ready?

    Why is he wearing jeans that have a perfectly round green stain of what appears to be paint right below his front right belt loop? I want to reach in and clean it!!! It drives me crazy when I look at this picture. You know why? Not only because my fashion gene screams at wearing stained clothes but – more importantly – because if that is a paint stain, I am imagining him at home, barefoot, wearing those jeans and a tight white t-shirt, changing the color of the walls in one of his rooms! This man is a World-Class Flirt! Almost everything about him fires up my imagination, can you tell?

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    • But darling B – you *do* realise that this is not a stain but the reflection of the sunlight, caused by the lens flare, right??? Is that just your imagination running wild???? *ggg* I am sure Mr A is quite aware that he should look his best for photos (even if Comicon was a bit of a let-down in that respect – I definitely remember stains from there!!!). So no, I have to defend Armitage’s honour in this case – his trousers were definitely unstained!
      As for your little home-story – nice one! I can just imagine Mr DIY doing that 😉

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      • Would I have made that comment if I had known that? To me it looks like a stain! I know nothing about photography except what I have learned from you. In fact, I don’t even own a camera! I have had my picture taken in twenty years! Seriously. So, yes, I am ignorant. 😉

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        • Hehe, I mentioned it in the *ooof* “a circular spot just by Armitage’s right hand”… But you know what – that’s the beauty of a picture: It makes your imagination run wild, just like a good book can. You spin out the story from the picture, just like you did with that little DIY fantasy.

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  19. […] under my belt, I am equally mystified and fascinated at how different Armitage comes across in the Nearmy shoot. Both photographers have no doubt photographed the same man. And yet there is something different […]

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  20. […] press call photo. Something shot along the lines of the images by Tracey Nearmy which I discussed here,  here and here. The photographer has been called in to take pictures for circulation in the […]

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  21. […] profile. This is almost a gloriole effect (I have written about that before in connection with a Tracey Nearmy shot from Sydney), i.e. the bright light of the rimlight creates a halo-like sheen around the head of […]

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  22. […] her site. Check the ethereal quality of the imagery in “girl” and “limbo”. ooof  ooof ooof  […]

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