Billy Ward (Billy Ward Photography) is another photographer who contributed to InkSpired magazine. Much like Sean Hartgrove, he contributes both documentary style and studio style imagery, but uses alternative lighting techniques such as flash in his documentary style images to make them pop and allow for the contrast of the colours to really stand out, creating high energy images.
This article is from Issue 17. Much like some of Hartgrove’s work that I have previously looked at, he has used the boudoir style shoot to showcase this model’s tattoos and make up. I like the above image because he has allowed for the lack of colour to keep the images very soft and feminine. He has used flash very subtly combined with the natural lighting coming from the windows to ensure that this shoot is soft, and to also make the tattoos pop, being harsh black lined tattoos. The use of the thin curtains at the window allows for the model to also look rather angelic, adding to that femininity of the shoot.
His other images of this shoot also mirror this idea of being feminine, but have a slight more colour in them (red lipstick, colour in clothing etc). Throughout he has kept the flash very subtle, allowing for the lighting to be consistent over the subject – not producing any high contrasts or large shadows for effect. I like the simplicity of these images, purely being used to showcase the model’s tattoos and appearance.
In this article, from issue 18, this title image is clearly using a flash to allow for the image to be of high contrast and to allow the colours to be vibrant. The other images in the story however, have not used flash due to the nature of their environment – it is difficult to use a flash inside of a tattoo studio as it can be off-putting to both the tattoo artist and the customers, therefore the images feel a lot more natural due to the fact they are only using ambient lighting.
You can tell that a flash has not been used as the tattoos are not of high contrast, much like the title image. However, in some of the images there seems to be an added light source, so perhaps Ward used a subtle flash, or even just a pop up flash to allow for the details to be thoroughly be shown for the purpose of the magazine, but as to not disrupt the goings on in the studio.
This article is from issue 20, and again uses a combination of natural lighting and flash, perhaps using reflectors to allow for a consistently lit photograph. You can see by the highlight on her lip that there was a flash placed somewhere in front of her. I dislike however how due to the lighting coming from the window behind her, the tattoos on her left arm aren’t as high in contrast and detailed as they could be. The image below I feel is lit the same, however this time I feel the use of the light from the window allows for the image to look somewhat angelic and innocent again, which I feel works well with the fact that this is quite an explicit shoot (other images in this series are nude so I will not include them), so to have that idea of innocence allows for it to not seem so sexualised.
This is a cover image provided by Billy Ward. I feel the flash is evident here (looking at the highlight on the top lip, and the light reflected on her skirt). In this image I feel the use of flash with a white background works well, as it allows her to stand out and be the only focus. The use of red in the magazine title works with the use of red lipstick, and the flash allows for that colour to pop, along with the colours in her tattoos. Also, the fact that the only colours are coming from her tattoos and make up, her clothing and hair is black and white, allows for all the attention to be drawn into the main focus, and that is important for a cover image.
This has been consistent through the entire story about this model also; a monochrome colour palette. I think this idea of black and white versus red (and other colours in the tattoos, but a more visible red) allows for the viewers eyes to be drawn into the subject straight away, and this being a tattoo magazine, the subjects need to see the tattoos as just as important as the model, so by matching colours with the tattoos, the viewers can clearly have this distinction.