Jean Baptiste Huynh

Born in France in 1966 to a French mother and Vietnamese father Jean Baptiste Huynh he taught himself photographic, lighting and printing techniques to the point of developing and professional and personal style. His highly personal style rests upon his brilliant observational abilities which is visible in his large body of work.

He has a high interest in the human face, the gaze of an individual and its multitude of variations, and the use of light. He considers the staging and creation of it as much a part of the photography as the lighting and printing. This frame of mind is similar to my own, working with still life set ups before both in a professional capacity and experimenting alone I have found the concept of the image and the set production and staging to be as important as any element, the standard sets the feeling for the whole image with the lighting simply assisting and effectively adding to the image.

Taking time to look at and consider the works of Jean Baptiste it is easy to appreciate his control and skill with photographic lighting, his observational skills with still life object shows an immediate element of consideration and thought on not only the placement and staging but also the manner of mood and tone. I especially like his work ‘Insects’ this fantastically lit and captured collection show the subtlest of colour changes and variations while maintaining and focused and crisp photograph that grabs the attention of the viewer. The amount of consideration and thought that went in to photographing the Stag Beetle within this collection, for me is the epitome of Huynh’s work. I love the symmetry he achieves with the lighting while the  light itself maintains a brightness that doesn’t impede on the photograph. In a similar composition his work looking at ‘Minerals’ is similarly brilliant, and in this case the images strike me as being more textured, the use of a shallow light at the height of the subject has created a beautiful amount of shadows that give the images form and across a varying range of textures.

Jean Baptiste Huynh’s portraits are a sublime and beautiful collection of various individuals captured in the most delicate and beautiful lighting that suits them perfectly, much to his consideration and observational skills. The image ‘Inès de la Fressange’ is a wonderful delicate and captivating portrait, the combination of dark background, jumper, and eyes bring the subject to life and draws the viewer into the photograph. I love the catchlight that adds to there personality of the slight smile and high cheek bones. The tonal range within this image is perfect, the small details in her forehead while the darkness of the background balance the image perfectly while the detail in the jumper adds further and effective interest.

Looking at Huynh’s work has given me a newly appreciated interest and admiration for lighting techniques, along with the previous assignment (assignment 4) in the Art of Photography and my final assignment within Digital Photographic Practice I have much to consider and understand from the images seen. The key I feel is in the subtlety, especially with these subjects looked at. The gentle balance of light and the effect it has on the subjects show the control needed and required to not only succeed with lighting techniques but to understand it.

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