Post Mortem: Matti Hillig

A couple weeks ago I did a post mortem; I invite you to take a stab at it this week.

To analyze a photograph, be critical, be pragmatic, be logical. Set aside your emotions for a moment. Remember that teacher in school you hated? That unforgiving one who always left red marks all over your papers. Be that teacher for ten minutes.

Afrob by foto-di-matti

Today’s portrait is by Matti Hillig, a Germany-based photographer. Take a gander at his site; he has some very nice images – fashion and portrait photography.

First, take a look at the values of this B&W image, ranging from very dark to very light. Is there a good range of the gray mid-tones in between? Is this too contrasty? If you think it’s a heavy contrast, is it an effective one? What would you change?

Look at the light. How many are there? Are they used effectively? What would you change?

And what about the composition? Is this person framed well? Does it follow or break the rule of thirds? Effectively?

Consider the pose and the expression of the model. Is it flattering? Does it help tell  the story?

After you’ve considered these questions, retrieve your emotions. Take a deep breath and look at the image again. Do you like it? Why or why not? What does it make you feel?

Fire away.



  1. I wish it was easier to comment.

    1. Values look good. There is not much gray in between light and very dark, but I think it’s effective.

    2. Two. Right? One behind, other above and left? Effective, I don’t know. Eyes are very dark.

    3. It’s a basic head shot. Composition is a little heads-on (sorry for the pun).

    4. Expression seems very stoic and reticent. Maybe even a little aggressive. It strikes me as almost challenging, the way he is staring at the camera. It would’ve been nice if the rest of the body, what little we can see, matched that.

    5. It’s a very…passive picture. Does it tell a story? A dude that’s calm and laid back but a little challenging. I feel like he’s just about to jerk his head up in a nod and say, “go on, I dare you.”

    Like I said, it’s a basic head shot. I think it’d tell his story better if the pose and framing was more dynamic.

Comments are closed.