Use of Light – Image 1 – Max Pinckers

Max Pinckers

‘Nowhere else is there such devotion to cinema as in India. This fictional world seeps into reality and influences everyday life, dictating the perception and imagination of its audience.’

max pinckers - photo 1

A photo book that I have really enjoyed look at his Max Pinckers ‘Fourth Wall’, a study into the effect that Bollywood has on indian people, playing into their fictions and fantasy’s. Similar to the work of Gregory Crewdson, Pinckers turned the streets Bombay into his own film set to capture how the fantasy’s of Bollywood is located into Indian culture.

‘The people in these images become actors by choosing their own roles, which they perform for the camera and its western operator,’

‘Conscious of the power of images, they give it their all, reflecting on their silver screen dreams by embracing their collective visual world and creating their own brief moments of suspension of disbelief.’

In each image you get the feel of Bollywood cinema, or any cinema for that matter because of the lighting separation between the subjects and the background. We as readers in this mediated world are programmed to associate these sorts of images with films, because thats where we see this type of lighting. But its also the appearance and the body language that gives off the feel of Bollywood, showing that a characters arrogance is then replicated by those inspired by the film. It really is the lighting though that adds drama each scene.


My favourite photograph is of the three men working out in a gym. There are posters in the background showing how the media wants them to look and they are presented as characters in their own reality by Pinckers. The dramatic lighting gives them more attention and more status that just three men at a gym. They look like they are in a film through the candid poses, as if to suggest the films they watch directly influence the way they act. You can see two strip fluorescent lights at the top visible in the picture. The light that they create has created shadows on their bodies, accentuating their muscles, making them appear bigger by the tone created by the shadow. It also spreads the room with soft light that lights up the front of the image. There is backlight positioned to the right side of the frame creating clear frontal shadows that separate the subject from the background, creating a more cinematic look and a white aesthetic outline to their bodies, making the image seem more dramatic. All this artificial light is helping Pinckers create a set like that of a Bollywood movie scene, and it makes the viewer reach those connotations without much context. I really like the lighting in this image because it enhances the message of the image, and gives the people in the image a lot more status because of this high key lighting set up.



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