In the vein of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, France recently elected a young, handsome, and left-of-center politician as their President – rebuking a move to the hardline right that has come to dominate some areas of global politics. Like any recent winner, Emmanuel Macron is doing the rounds on magazine covers, so let’s compare some photography!
France’s L’obs magazine featured this image taken by Edouard Caupeil for their May 11, 2017 issue. Caupeil’s portraits are distinct – employing a relatively small, directional and hard keylight. He fears not the shadow! His image of Macron deviates from this formula – a softer light and warm expression makes Macron seem very approachable. The body and face point directly at the camera emphasizing an openness that is different from many of the poses that Caupeil has used in the past. The post production colors are a nice touch to echo the French flag, and the graphic design is clean as a whistle.
Society issue #56 used an image taken by British photographer Ed Alcock who’s been living in Paris for 15 years. The closed eyed Macron is featured with the headline “À méditer” – To meditate. It’s a very desaturated image where Macron’s skin is close in tone to the wall he’s leaning against. The keylight is pretty big – there isn’t much fall-off at the edges of the frame. Macron’s close proximity to the wall accentuates the shadow to camera right.
Verdict: Initially, I loved the Caupeil image. Then I liked the Alcock image, then I reverted back to the Caupeil image. It’s a very interesting comparison in how distance and pose set the tone of the image. In the wider Alcock image, Macron is leaning back slightly. It’s meditative because the photographer made it so. In the tighter Caupeil image, he’s leaning forward into the camera with his eyes open. It’s intimate because the photographer made it so. Both photographers were incredibly successful in controlling the output of their image to set a specific mood. So it’s about what mood you’re feeling, and I’m feeling Caupeil.
Can we shake on it?