Playground Catwalk: A Senior Black + White High Dynamic Range Diptych by Isabel Martynenko (2016)
Click to read Artist Statement
This diptych tells the narrative of how my childhood affected my ability to tell stories through cartoons. I used shoes as my focal points because I see a person and their story with each pair. The picture with the sneakers represents a slice of my childhood in which I started to really delve into my interests with cartoons and discover the creative freedom that comes with them. Whenever I see sneakers, I am reminded of my adventures on the playground with my old friends and how many childhood journeys I took in these types of shoes. In contrast, the other side of the diptych shows a pair of high heels. As a child, I strived to wear heels like my mom did. These shoes reflect the professionalism, maturity, and class I gained when it came to growing up. Even though these shoes are different in appearance and represent a different part of my life, I walk in both shoes throughout life. Each pair is a character in this story I am developing to this day.
For the composition, I decided to place the left pair of shoes on the further left side and the right pair on the further right side of the diptych because I wanted to show a longer transition between each photograph. I placed my photos according to the rule of thirds and added a vignettes to make the focal points stand out more. In Photoshop, I selected each pair and used the curves adjustment layer to play around with the blacks, greys, and whites in the black and white photographs. For the sneakers, I adjusted the darker greys and white to increase their brightness and to add contrast between the two colors. For the heels, I darkened the shadows on the black heels while brightening the light greys to add texture to the shoes. Even though the wood floor is a nice backdrop for the shoes’ placement, I wish I had created more of a contrast between the two photos with backgrounds to reflect childhood and approaching adulthood.