A Divided Whole: A Senior Black + White High Dynamic Range Diptych by Lara Darling (2016)
Click to read Artist Statement
My diptych is about exploring my identity as a half Spanish, half American hybrid. I grew up in the US but I have a strong Spanish heritage, so I wanted to express my identity that sometimes feels split between the two. For my Spanish side I chose to photograph a polka dotted flamenco skirt from my childhood, when I dressed up as a flamenco dancer. I wanted to make it bold, busy, and passionate; the Spanish side of me. The flower symbolizes my American side, appearing simple but still complex, thoughtful and hidden in profile. I wanted one side with a lot of things happening, and one side that was a bit calmer to balance it out.
I took HDR photos, and edited them in Photoshop. HDR means that I took five different photos of my composition with varying levels of exposure and then merged them together to create one image. So obviously having no movement in the shot is very important and was something that I had difficulty with when taking my photos. I used the “camera raw filter” in Photoshop to make it black and white as well as using levels to help provide more contrast in the photos, especially the flower photo. It was difficult to take the flower photo as there was a breeze and it was difficult to havethe flower sit still. Both were difficult to find a good light, and to frame properly. If I could go back and change something, I probably would have tried to take a better profile of the flower. I would have tried to use more leading lines and balance on the skirt side.