Photography is amazing to me because of its ability to take a very literal medium, and still create an incredible diversity of finished product. In this round, we pit fashion photographer Sebastian Kim against portraitist (and my Tribeca neighbor) Henry Leutwyler and their images of Michael Fassbender, recently snubbed by the Oscars despite his critically acclaimed performance in Shame. I personally thought he was great in X-Men: First Class.
First, let me express some brief disappointment in Sebastian’s search engine optimization. This is what happens when you don’t have a page meta description on a Flash website — you get a message asking you “Get Flash Player now.” Boo. He does, however, get social media props for having a Tumblr account.
But back to the images!
Sebastian took Fassbender’s hotness to the next level by photographing his photo on fire. The cover of Interview magazine’s February 2012 issue is black and white and gritty. It’s beautifully lit. I love the softer rim light (which arguably might not qualify as rim lighting). Pose is good, and the mottling of the skin fits the interpretation.
Henry Leutwyler’s image from Vogue is kinder and gentler. I love the feathering of the light (reminds me of Dan Winters), and even though the image is obviously retouched, the skin detail still has good texture.
Verdict: Leutwyler. I give big props to Kim for the creativity, but I’m gonna side with my boy, Henry for the more sensitive portrait.