It is interesting to see Todd Heisler’s portrait of the judge. We both found interest in the same corner of the judge’s courtroom and we both posed him within a few feet of each other. The results are very different, a reflection of the way each of us sees as a photographer but also of the purpose of each photo. Todd’s photo fits the NYT article perfectly. His use of dark space emblematic of the judge’s path toward a sentencing decision, the weight of that decision, and his sole responsibility for it.
My image is for a university magazine’s feature, a bio celebrating the judge and not tied to Madoff or any one case. The image had to be vertical to fit the layout and given its use heroicize him to a certain extent. On the day I shot available light was not an option (too much glare would have blown out the back window) but also not compatible with the piece. Instead I took my cues from the ambient light (the natural daylight and the artificial room lighting) and built my portrait from there.
Here’s another image from my session with Judge Chin:
Earlier post – Chin Up at the Bar.