Wing And A Prayer

Toby Wing b. 1916

Photographer: William Walling Jr. 1933 Degree of difficulty: Fairly hard (4 lights)

Martha Virginia Wing - concerning whom our researches have proved lamentably deficient, save that thi\ was a Paramount publicity shot - is presumably in some sort of chair, rather than an unusually luxurious dog-basket, and it may well be that she is somewhat more fully dressed than is immediately evident. We chose the picture simply because it is a classic piece of 'cheesecake/ a style that we have pretty much ignored elsewhere in the book.

In general, pin-up lighting tends to be generous, without much use of heavy chiaroscuro. This picture is evidently designed to appeal to connoisseurs of the leg; the direct stare, with eye contact, is also characteristic of pin-ups, although the actual look may be coy, or mock-surprised, or (as here) blatantly flirtatious.

As far as we can tell, there are four lights. The key is almost directly over the chair, as evidenced by the highlights and shadows on the face; this also functions as a backlight on the cushion fringe. A fill, almost at floor level and in front of the camera, lights the chair and the sole of the left shoe, as well as filling the shadows and pro viding shadows of its own on the left side of the cushion. A strong hair light to camera left lights her hair, and there seems to be one more light to camera right, which explains the second shadow on her left ankle and the shadow of her right knee on the background.

Laszlo Willinger
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