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‘Exposure’ Alters Our Perception on Reality with New Challenges

Matthew Honda

Matthew Honda

Exposure on Hulu- PerspectiveHulu

This week the focus of the competition on Exposure was perspective. The fourth week of the competition had the photographers creating more abstract images and showing their imaginative use of foreground and background. An elephant the size of a matchbook or making the impossible seem plausible, with the right perspective reality can get spun upside down. The images this week may require a few double takes, but we assure you it’s just a photograph.


The Flash Challenge- Forced Perspective Photo

After last week’s elimination, the remaining photographers were rattled. A super talented photographer went home last week and it goes to show, elimination is just one challenge away (unless you’re Jose.) With a new perception of the competition, judges test how flexible are the photographers with a flash challenge in forced perspective.

If the term is foreign to you, forced perspective is exactly as it sounds. It’s a camera trick that can make objects appear smaller or bigger than they are in reality, by using foreground or background elements to give the viewer a point of reference. The result is an altered reality that our brains try to make sense of.

The competitors are tasked with shooting and editing an image using props to deliver forced perspective. While they can edit the photo, the element of forced perspective must be done in-camera. Given an option to work in-studio or outdoors, the photogs grab their phones and all head to the park.


Winner of the Flash Challenge

Tommy struck it rich winning this week's flash challenge | Credit: Hulu
Tommy struck it rich winning this week’s flash challenge | Credit: Hulu

Forced perspective is a niche art just like the skateboard photography from last week. If you’ve never done it, it’s hard to know all of the rules to execute it well. The remaining photographers are all out of their element with this one except for Tommy. Despite the lack of experience for most of them, the images this week weren’t all amiss. 

Tommy was in his element and showed the least trouble while shooting. Judges loved the world he managed to create within his photo. Photographers like Michele and Marilyn had zero experience with forced perspective but their images nailed the challenge more than the others. 

Portfolio Challenge- Surreal Photo

For the portfolio challenge this week, photographers had to play with perspective to turn real objects into images of fantasy. So far of all the challenges, this one put the photographers with less Photoshop experience in a tough spot. Another limiting factor is the imagination of the photographer. Trying to make a surreal image if you’re used to only shooting landscape or portrait photography is like ordering a Big Mac at a Burger King. 


They were assigned three hours in their studios to capture any photo elements needed for their concept and make all edits. The judges stressed the image’s creativity would be vital to winning this week’s challenge. 

Jose chose to tell a very powerful story with his image and it was well received by judges | Credit: Hulu
Jose chose to tell a very powerful story with his image and it was well received by judges | Credit: Hulu

Portfolio Challenge Top Photographers

The guest judge this week knows a thing or two about making stunning, surreal images. The Academy award cinematographer behind films like The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception, Wally Pfister joined the panel. It was a huge honor to the photographers knowing their images were going to be critiqued by such a legend. 

This time around, the images for top contenders were a little bit more obvious. Photographers like Tommy, Marilyn, and Jose delivered a distorted reality with clean work in their post-editing. Competitors like Michele and Anna however struggled with concept and execution. The judges’ decided that Tommy and Jose had turned out the best images for the challenge.

Winner of the Portfolio Challenge

Pulling a double challenge win this week, Tommy took "relaxing at the beach" to a new level | Credit: Hulu
Pulling a double challenge win this week, Tommy took “relaxing at the beach” to a new level | Credit: Hulu

When it came down to picking the top photo, the devil was in the details. The judges picked Tommy as this week’s portfolio challenge winner. They praised how well he paid attention to every detail within his image. The result made all the layered elements in the photo seamless giving it more sense of reality. He proves he is the master of perception by winning both the flash and portfolio challenge this week, the first competitor to do so.

Who Missed Their Shot?

Unfortunately for Michele and Anna, they found themselves at the bottom this week. Their inexperience using Photoshop tools to create more abstract elements (making shadows that don’t exist is a slippery slope if you’ve never tried) got the best of them here. 

Anna couldn't portray her "nightmare" inspiration how she envisioned it and Michele's dreams just weren't surreal enough | Credit: Hulu
Anna couldn’t portray her “nightmare” inspiration how she envisioned it and Michele’s dreams just weren’t surreal enough | Credit: Hulu

In a shocking, unexpected twist (the opposite of week 2’s elimination decision), the judges announced that both Anna and Michele had missed their shot. They both had struggles in their post-editing work and Michele’s concept didn’t feel surreal enough. 

Both are highly praised by judges Cole Walliser and Cat Jimenez for their growth while on the show. 

Catch Up on Exposure

This week’s elimination brings us to the Final Four. It comes down to Jose, Krys, Marilyn, and Tommy with only two episodes left! With the competition getting thinner, you won’t want to miss the pressure build on this photoshoot rollercoaster. 

You can check out all of the photos from this and previous episodes on Hulu. Tune in Mondays for the new episodes when they release. 

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About the Author

Matthew Honda

Matthew Honda is a contributing writer for Talent Recap. He's new to writing but certainly not new to binging television. If he's not sitting down to some reality TV, you might find him practicing some extreme sport, snapping photos, or shooting some pool.

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