Barbie Fan by Paul Dzik.
I’ve been wondering about posting this photo for a while. It’s one of the most popular images on photo.net. On one level it is brilliant. The subject matter is excellent, it has a twist with the Barbie cap, it’s nicely lit, it’s immediate, etc. For me though, it has been overblown in the digital darkroom. Many photographers now use packages like Photoshop to play around with shadow/highlight and other controls in order to intensify their images and make them ‘pop’. This one is over the top in my opinion – still a great image but pushed just a little bit too far, which makes it unnatural.
Perhaps that just makes me a bit of a traditionalist. By way of comparison, have a look at this wonderful image of Samuel Beckett by Jane Bown. It has the same kind of intensity but, in my view, is infinitely more subtle.