Amy Adams has had a long and illustrious careers as one of the most versatile and finest actors of her generation. Currently filming Adam McKay’s currently untitled movie about Lynne and Dick Cheney, Adams recently graced the cover of the New York Times’ T Magazine “Greats” Issue. Let’s take a look!
Collier Schorr did the honors for T Magazine’s unusual cover. Schorr is like an old-school version of Ryan McGinley – photographing adolescents and young adults with a bit of whimsy. But look at this cover image! As a point of comparison, consider the typical magazine cover image and the typical way that Adams has been portrayed in the past.
Schorr’s image reads like a candid. Adams’ clothing is impeccably styled, but her hair is slightly askew. The lighting is medium hard, but Schorr intentionally created a huge shadow on the background. The small triangle of light under Adam’s left eye is reminiscent of “Rembrandt lighting,” but like her hair, it’s slightly off and her expression is curious. Not quite a smile. Not quite exasperation. Somewhere in between – she just got back from dinner and a couple of drinks.
For the comparison, I searched for an image that was perhaps a bit atypical of what you might find on a magazine cover. I settled on this image by Joe Pugliese for the Hollywood Reporter. This image is more of a classical portrait with a softer light, and with a more conventional Rembrandt lighting pattern. The background flats give a little bit of texture and the brown table breaks up the grayness of the image. It’s also interesting to compare the highlight values on both images: Schorr (184,148,127); Pugliese (227,215,202) – an artistic choice by both photographers to set the mood in the scene.
Verdict: Pugliese is an incredibly versatile portraitist, and there is always a refinement to his images. Schorr’s image is unexpected – especially for a cover, and today I’m keeping it weird. My vote goes to Schorr!