inside the moodydarkroom

research and analysis on portrait photographer Oswaldo Capeda

11/23/20221 min read

Oswaldo Capeda under the alias of 'moodydarkroom' has redefined the understanding of contemporary portraiture and used it to convey emotional messages and responses that cannot be placed into words. every image has a story behind it. his use of lighting is very unique in portraiture and there is a lot of bold distracting lights that pulls the image together and show that disconnect between image and meaning. Oswaldo only picked up a camera for the first time a little over 2 years ago and using his background in neuroscience used a lot of techniques and colour theory to go against the generic rules of photography. however i want to analyse a particular image from his 'how it feels to...' series.

Capeda likes to use the definition of photography (capturing light) literally and a lot of his focus is on the lighting of the image, even though it is extremely diverse and different from 99% of the usual content we see in digital media across all platforms, and this is what seems to draw everyone into more and more moodydarkroom work, its a never-ending emotional cycle than you feel a need for closure, but you never get there. This image is from the 'how it feels to...' series that grew extremely popular on Instagram and TikTok. 'how it feels to have an identity crisis' features this image along with a few others in the same location with minor differences and the images always pull me back to look at again and try to find minute details. the lighting on the face with a bold and overpowering red really tips the balance of the photo on its side to a point where it almost obscures the identity of the subject (in line with the title) the use of deadpan and almost inanimate posing really adds to the photo as it meant the lighting takes over and everything just falls into place. This set of images has been shot with natural light from the window on the right of shot and a singular LED spotlight