Two of my biggest obsessions: Richard Armitage - as John Porter (yum) - AND Depeche Mode fused together in a fabelous fan video. GizTheGunzlinger had done a hell of a job with the editing - my hero. Thank you!
Depeche Mode and Richard just work together - and don´t even get me started about the “Master and Servant”-thing. It gave me
a fewmany naughty thoughts :P
Do watch it to the end! Enjoy
*ooof* of the day: Saint Armitage
If it was down to me, I could go on forever, giving all of Ascroft’s fabulous images the *ooof* treatment . But even a creature of
Hobbit… eh… habit!! habit, habithabit like myself realises that it might be time to look at a different visual style every once in a while. To check with my esteemed readership, I put a little poll out there last week, so *you* could decide what I was going to look at today. The result was *tadah* a Tracey Nearmy press image from Sydney. [One day I *will* get this “tweeting” thing right and figure out how to do it properly and elicit a proper response.]
In terms of press photography, the shot I have singled out in my *ooof* today is not necessarily the most usable one. There are other shots in the series that would probably work better in the pages of a magazine or newspaper. The close-ups would allow unfamiliar readers a better look at this man, and the image of Armitage sitting on the bench is visually far more interesting with its composition and the deliberate breaking of symmetry. But I have decided on this shot for one reason alone – I like Armitage’s facial expression in this. I like the relaxed atmosphere reflected in the posture as much as the face – the calm and unstressed look on his face which to me speaks of being comfortable in the situation. There is an air of patience in his look, not resignation or tension at being photographed, but being content in the present. He is allowing the photographer to do her job, and he gives her time and space to do it. Also, his overall pose looks natural – slightly less deliberate than the bench image of the two versions of Armitage leaning against the wall on his elbows.
Now, Tracey Nearmy’s pictures from the Sydney Hobbit-DVD junket is a completely different kettle of fish to Ascroft’s studio portraiture of RA. It looks more like a photo call than a scheduled shoot, although from the lack of similar images in the same location by other photographers we probably should deduce that this was *not* a photo call. (A photo call is a pre-planned photo opportunity for PR reasons, usually called by the marketers behind a product, person or institution. Media representatives, including photographers, are invited to attend and get information as well as photo opportunities in order to publicise the event/product/person in the media.) Having trawled the internet, I have only seen images by Nearmy regarding this particular location.
The location this was shot at looks more like a photo call place, though. Armitage is photographed outside in a yard. The location does not really look entirely ideal to me – there is an awful lot to see, but Nearmy has managed the background problems very well in her images. Now doubt she was familiar with the location, as is essential for a press photographer. Scouting the location prior to shooting is a given in this business. In public places that also includes researching the weather forecast, the position of the sun in the sky at the time of the proposed shoot, or whether there is likely to be any traffic/disturbance during the shoot. With all this covered, she has to make the background work for her shots of Armitage. That means pre-planning the composition in her head – incorporating the stone wall, the box hedge, various palm trees of different heights, and some buildings in the background, in a visually pleasing way.
Nearmy decides on a symmetrical composition in this shot. She has placed her sitter in front of the box hedge in the middle of the frame, in the centre between two palm trees in the background. She manages to arrange the lines of the surrounding arrangement in calming symmetry – Armitage is placed centrally and directly in front of a palm plant, the leaves of which spread like a fan behind him. (Only the roof line of the buildings are slightly unsightly – but she hardly had control over that.) She has even arranged her sitter in a symmetrical pose, with both of his hands hidden in his trouser pockets.
What is really interesting, however, is the way the sun plays a part in the image. At the time of the shoot, the sun must have been fairly high in the sky, possibly about noon-ish (compare the other shots from the same shoot – the shadows indicate the sun is high.) The sun is not directly visible, but there are traces of it in the picture, namely the highlights on the palm leaves and on Armitage’s hair. It also leaves traces of a different kind in the photo: a bright misty streak near the palm trunk on the left, a circular spot just by Armitage’s right hand and a few overlapping white circles at the top edge of the image. This is caused by shooting against the sun, particularly as the sun is just about outside of the frame, causing what is called lens flare. Some of this could possibly have been taken out in Photoshop – especially the top flare could have easily been cut out. However, Nearmy has decided to leave the traces of the sun in the image, and she may have done that on purpose. (There is, btw, also evidence of artificial light in the image – because Nearmy was shooting against the sun, she had to use some fill flash in order to illuminate Armitage from the front – otherwise his face would have been in shadow.)
Lens flare in an image – although strictly speaking a technical fault – is occasionally deliberately used to convey a sense of drama, or to emphasise a perspective, especially when shooting from a low vantage point upwards
which most often seems to be the case, what with Armitage towering over most mere mortals. It is not quite true here – Nearmy appears to be shooting from head level. And whether the effect is deliberate or simply overinterpretation on my part – I quite like the added association that it gives to the image. The sun appears to be shining directly onto Armitage’s head – it is not quite directly above him, but the lens flare creates a sight line that points from the flare spot at the top edge directly to Armitage’s head – and seems to reflect there on his hair. This effect is reminiscent of religious art, especially depictions of Christ. You have all seen images that depict saints or Christ himself, illuminated from above or shown with a halo. Both these associations are evoked for me in this image – with the light shining down on Armitage (as described above) and the fan of the palm leaves acting as a halo. You could also possibly interpret the fanned out leaves of the palm as angel wings. In any case, there is a quasi-religious iconography there in all three possibilities.
It is far-fetched, though. I very much doubt that Nearmy had this in mind when she placed Armitage where he is standing. It is a by-product of the composition which I have singled out in my analysis. But if you humour and follow me further into an interpretation of the composition, this is one of the things you could take from it [note: any interpretation is based not only on the tangible and corroborated facts, but also informed by the opinions, ideas and experiences of the interpreter]: This is acting god Armitage, singled out from the heavens with talent and good looks. He basks in the glory of stardom (the light shining from above), he is a saintly human being, a decent man, he flies on with the wings of his acting talent (the palm leaf fan), he is the messiah of our fandom.
No, I do not believe that one minute. But I find it very amusing to give the individual elements of this picture a meaningful place in the composition and to find out whether it fits the subject. If this proves anything then it probably proves the point that you can find evidence for anything *in* anything – or that you can push an interpretation in a certain direction, if you want to. And since I have been reliably informed that I have already been sucked into a cult, I might as well own up to it – yes, deep, deep down, I quite like glorifying this man, praising his gentle and intelligent behaviour,
droolingswooning over his attractive peacheslooks, and commending his considerable acting talent. Looking at him – whether on film or on stills – is like meditating. It’s a reprieve in an otherwise busy life, an uplifting experience, and a past time that gives me pleasure of many unmentionable kinds. The objectifying oglers’ cult is beckoning. I hear your call. I regret nothing.
Image: Tracey Nearmy
Sourced via RAnet.com
Give me back my heart!!!!
SHARE TO SAVE TUMBLR!
- Let’s try and get 100k notes
A review by one of the folks sums it up perfectly:
“What worries me about Yahoo! buying Tumblr is how it would choose to incorporate the website into its email and homepage features. One of the reasons why Tumblr is so unique is because it’s a niche market. By adding more users who don’t fit into this niche, it would make it more difficult for communities to develop within Tumblr, and Tumblr would have to change to accommodate these new users. Tumblr as a website is not the kind that you can sign up for in a day and be on your way. It is a website crafted so that you can immediately post but must spend several weeks, sometimes even months, to build a community. With new users who would not be willing to spend time growing a community, Tumblr would have to be changed, which would alienate its current users. Those users have spent time and effort to make Tumblr what it is today, and they are the ones who spend time on the website daily. A user who is checking onto Tumblr because it’s attached to their homepage is not going to be as strong of a user nor as dedicated. By changing the website to suit this new user, you would lose the strong users while building an undedicated usership.
To any website that would think of buying Tumblr, they must understand that it is a website that cannot be changed to make it more user friendly to a casual blogger. I think that many Tumblr users would be less worried about a buy-out if they were promised that their communities and ways of using Tumblr would not be changed. No one is going to mind Yahoo! buying the website and gaining a few extra million dollars per year from the minimal advertising; what we will be upset with is if a company like Yahoo! then changes the website to increase casual users and decrease dedicated users. Yahoo! would gain nothing by losing this “cool” group of bloggers in an age group they so desperately want to reach, so they must cater to these individuals by leaving the website exactly as is.” - houseoftombombadilAs much as is does sound like a load of bullshit for someone to buy Tumblr, it’s a possibility. I Personally think it should stay independent and I hope David Karp keeps a hold of it like his own child. Or we make enough noise to where such major changes (if bought) will not happen. I would hate to see Tumblr turned into an advertising dump.We’re not a ‘hip fad group’ to be marketed to. I hate the fact that’s all we look like to businesses in the end.
reblogging again for this ^
or, Why It Will Always Be Too Soon
or, The Most Personal Thing I Will Ever Post
or, How I Learned Tumblr Has No Character Limit
I experienced something visceral and raw as I came to know and mourn with, and then for, the character Lucas North of the BBC series Spooks (inexplicably called MI-5 in the U.S.), played by actor Richard Armitage. There’s a phrase I use a lot, semi-jokingly, any time I see a photo of or reference to Lucas in pain – particularly in his final episodes: it will always be too soon. When I say this, what I think I mean is that his downward spiral and ultimate fall wounded something somewhere in me and I cannot foresee a time when remembering that will not cause me a palpitation in remembrance of that pain.
The experience I had – of sitting alone in the dark at the end of Lucas’s final episode with my ugly, loud, chest-heaving, throat-wrenching sobs because I was quite literally too emotionally wrecked and actually physically exhausted from the stress to do anything else – will always be one I do not wish to repeat. Ever. It will always be too soon.
And yet I keep coming back to him. More to the point, I can’t let him go. We all know by now, because it would be pointless for me to pretend otherwise and so I don’t, that I have some intense and complicated feelings about Lucas North. Feelings that cause me actual physical pain. I can’t even listen to the music of the series without getting tight in the throat. What is less clear, even to me, is the cause of this intense empathy. Some of it is certainly the Armitage Effect and the enigmatic element of the “beyond” that he conveys in his performances, as talked about at length by the brilliant Servetus at her blog; but if that was the whole story I’d be a wreck for every character played by Armitage, and that’s definitely not the case. I’ve never actually looked very hard at the root of the Lucas North issue, instead shying back from it because it hurts too much.
So maybe what I mean when I say it will always be too soon is actually, my reasons for being broken by Lucas North are scary and I’m afraid to find out what they are, so I’m just going to shore up and endure the pain. But I think it’s time to knock that off.
This will get pretty rambly as I try to figure it out.
I was telling my mother about some other story recently. (Final Fantasy X, if you’re curious.) I had just played a piece of music from the game for her on the piano, because she likes beautiful music, and she remarked that the piece was rather sad. Not sad, she corrected. Melancholy. Full of longing. I did my best to explain (with some difficulty thanks to the labyrinthine turnings of that game’s plot) why that would be an accurate impression.
Come and sit with me awhile. just a sweet tender request…
I WAS LOOKING UP PICTURES OF RICHARD ARMITAGE AND SAVING THEM AND MY COMPUTER WAS AUTOMATICALLY PUTTING THEM INTO A FOLDER CALLED “WEDDING STUFF” AND I CAN’T IT’S A SIGN
#HE’S 41 AND I’M 23 DON’T CARE
Insel Poel - Baltic sea
Beautiful, and evokes wonderful memories.