Uuugh is Perry’s version of a Guylty Ooof. It is not descriptive of the photos under discussion, which are both Ooofs, or potential Ooofs. My attempt at Ooofing is what’s Uuugh. At some point, we will need our photografessor to straighten things out.
The two Richard Armitage photos below were taken by different photographers.
First, Leslie Hassler published the photo in the white shirt for a spread in New York Moves Magazine.
(That shoot also included this fan favorite)
Ignoring the shots of Armitage in the over-sized boiled wool, pink-piped jacket, the hands covering face shot is Hassler’s least successful. The pose looks forced and awkward to me. He’s doing a sort of peek-a-boo – not quite covering anything. We can see his eyes, his nose, his chin, his ears, his lips, his forehead. His hands seem to be placed on his face and, while they are touching his face, they don’t look like they are.
While the mood of this photo was intended as playful, I’m not convinced. Armitage covers more of his face with one hand, in the Sarah Dunn photo below, than he covers in this photo with two hands.
In Sara Dunn’s photo, a year later, Armitage has short hair and the photo we have now is shot at a greater distance than the Hassler photo.
Photographers, like all artists, have certain artistic goals they want to achieve when shooting a subject. This photograph brought with it a practical goal – hide the beard. The subject’s hands are not merely placed on his face, they’re working. Not 100% successful because we can see his left side burn and some beard ( or shadow) poking out on the lower right, facing us. Nothing looks light-hearted about his covered face. He’s looking very serious, even angry. Nose and mouth hidden. Jaw and cheeks hidden. I’m imagining his stance. But Hiding is what this pose says to me.
Hiding seems more real and natural to me. Despite that the subject covers most of his face, this work has more to say and I like what it says better, than Peek-a-Boo.