I seem to be looking at portraits lately. I saw this one of the actress and activist Ruby Dee and really liked it. I’ve always admired her and this shows her at time I hadn’t seen before.
This was taken when she worked at the Western Electric Company’s Kearny Works during World War II, soldering wires on an assembly line. I like the way it shows her intense concentration, and aesthetically I appreciate the way it pushes the ragged edge of white (something I do in my own work).
Paul Novitski asked me in the comments to expand what I mean by the “ragged edge of white”
I think the best way to start, is to say something about the ragged edge of black. This is the edge you see pushed more usually in photography. A good example of this is Roy De Carava’s photo from post about him.
I like to push the ragged edge of white occasionally, which is less usual. This photo of mine is a good example.
You’ll notice the important areas of the intense whites and you do in the portrait of Ruby Dee.
Thanks for asking Paul.