This picture just showed up in front of me. The two performers were simply standing there, and I saw the image in my mind through a lens. I wanted to show behind the scenes of a real circus. Rarely are they the classic big top nowadays, with the smiles and chaos. Contemporary circuses are much more influenced by modernity, hence the background of graffiti in this photo. I told the subjects not to move, not to change anything. Their facial expressions show a different side of the circus, even with the face paint. I changed the color balance to really make the colors stand out and pop, because I wanted the contrast between the graffiti and the subjects’ mostly black clothing. While you cannot tell what the subjects are thinking, I feel like the photo conveys a neutral mood, which contrasts with the subjects. We expect circus performers to be all smiles with lots of movement, but the subjects here are leaning against an old, graffitied wall. They look tired. One is looking off into the distance, thinking, while the other one seems to look straight at the viewers, as if daring us to do whatever it is he just performed. This photo is a little confrontational, because of the subjects; it shows reality, yet challenges our perception of circus performers.
I shot this photo with a Canon Rebel T3i, with a 15-35 mm lens. The ISO was set at 100, with an aperture of f5, and a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second. The focal length was 18 mm. The only editing I did in post was a tighter crop. I am very pleased with the way this turned out without editing it. I’m not a big fan of editing, I feel like editing makes it easy for people who aren’t very good at taking pictures to create a good image, and I also feel like it distorts the truth. I still edit, but sparingly.
About the Photographer:
My name is Morgan Louvier, and I’ve been taking pictures since I was young. My dad would take pictures of everything he saw, and that inspired me to take pictures of my own. When I got my first DSLR, I wanted to improve the quality of my photos, and taught myself the basics of manual shooting. I have fallen in love with photojournalism; my favorite subjects are people doing what they love. The more action, the more fun the scene is to shoot. I also love nature, and the outdoors, and want to show others the beauty and fun of getting outside. I have recently begun shooting rock climbers, and really enjoy being suspended up in the air while taking pictures. It’s just as much of an adventure as climbing the rocks. I’d love to travel taking pictures of mountaineers and climbers; being a climber myself, I have a huge respect for them.
To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/. Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!