2019.07.29 - 08.03

posted Aug 4, 2019, 9:40 AM by Adnan Onart   [ updated Aug 4, 2019, 9:40 AM ]
Masks by Eric BornsteinMasks by Eric Bornstein
At First Church Boston Unitarian-Universalist

Why I took these pictures or shared them:
I took these pictures and shared them with the single motivation of depicting the wonderful masks that were on display a little while ago at the First Church Boston. The work was exceptionally good but not many people had an opportunity to swing by the church. I wanted just to share the visual experience with a wider audience of friends and family members. 

It is customary to categorize the photographs as documents and fine art pictures.   Documents reproduce the visual aspects of an object or a scene whereas fine art pictures aspire to offer some aesthetic experience. But I believe that these categories rather than being mutually exclusive, constitute the pole edges of a spectrum. Majority of the photographs contains elements or considerations of both categories at different degrees. For example, the three photographs of masks I shared— in portrait orientation with possibly 16x10 aspect ratio — might be 95% document, 5% might be allocated to aesthetic concerns achieved — to the extent they are achieved — by proper positioning of the camera, by avoiding unnecessary details in particular at the edges as much as possible. The three other photographs that happen to be in 1x1 aspect ratio depicting a person wearing a mask, or the picture juxtaposing the bust of Emerson with the masks on display have ingredients with different percentages. Maybe something like 60% aesthetic consideration 40% realistic reproduction. Closer attention to the light, keeping unnecessary objects out of frame or focus, capturing the right posture or defocusing the foreground for an effect… all might be related to concerns for photographic aesthetic.

Another realization I had while reviewing these pictures was related to the issue of privacy I tried to address earlier. I came to realize that mask-wearing makes possible for the photographers to have their cake and eat it: They enable to have people in the picture without disclosing their identity. In any case, people appear to be feeling very comfortable to pose even when I was taking close-up shots.

We wear masks to hide our faces.  Masks actually disclose our true faces.

Gear used:
Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm zoom lens - as to the focal length selection, it looks like I opted 55 & ~35mm for two portraits, 23mm for the rest.

The rationale behind the settings:
I must have operated practically on the AUTO mode without paying attention to the specifics. Although the masks were stable, the pictures were taken during the “coffee hour” with some social commotion in the space. 

File utilized in preparing the photograph:
Some are based on in-camera generated JPG, others on RAW. 

Adjustments during post-processing:
Basic adjustments with some additional vignetting. In the picture with Emerson’s bust, I utilized PHOTOSHOP to remove a piece of balustrade that was intruding into the frame. LIGHTROOM became quite good for such removals, but I still find it easier to do it in PHOTOSHOP and the results look a little cleaner. I also removed in the same way, the name badge of the friend somewhat posing with the mask: although only the first name and the initial letter of the last name was on display, I had a sense the friend might be sensitive about his privacy.

First Church in Boston Unitarian Universalist
66 Marlborough Street Boston MA

You can see these pictures on the following WEB sites:

Additional information about the First Church Boston