Portrait of Pastor Scotty Gurulé

Portrait of Pastor Scotty Gurulé

I framed this portrait of Pastor Scotty Gurule in a wide, cinematic format. This, for 3 reasons: (1) the body posture gives its significance to the photograph, and the tatooed arms are an expressive detail; (2) the face is closed, with a pensive expression. Pastor Gurule just finished saying something and left his finger pointed to the heaven as a way to stress his statement with no further need for words. The gesture required space, and a tight framing wouldn’t give it the space; (3) the pulpit on the right is a useful prop: it reminded me of the pulpit of a monk in 13th century iconography, and it enabled me to obtain the secondary, dim source of light found in many chiaroscuro paintings.

For the flesh tones, I worked with the reds and oranges available from the light and the reddish complexion of Pastor Gurule. Browns and reds are typical of Rembrandt paintings and that’s the style I seek to emulate. I highlighted the left side of his face and kept light to a minimum on the right side. There may be a tad too much light on the right side to call this a Rembrandt portrait, but I got the triangle of light under the right eye. The left eye is clearly visible, and I believe the level of detail and color in the white of the eye is appropriate for the style.

I used brushes to blacken out the background, and dimmed out the light falling on the pulpit and on the metal props in the background. To allow some of the dim background reflections to show, I did not push the density of the brushstroke to 100%. This allowed me to preserve some reds, rather than winding up with a deep black background.

Shot with a Canon 5D MkII and a 70-200 Canon lens. Post-processed in Lightroom.