pressmen performance and photography

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

portraits a question

From Wikipedia I found the following passage, "A form of art in photography is that of portrait photography. A portrait is the rendering of someone’s likeness. A portrait photographer not only wants to capture the true likeness, but also the personality of the individual. The photographer needs to be proficient not only in the workings and setting of the camera, but also needs to understand form and lighting. Great lighting and positioning can make someone appear at their best form if used correctly. Lighting and camera placement can also aid in correcting defects such as shortening a nose, making someone appear slimmer and other visual enhancements."
How far can one capture the personality of another in a photograph? How many students of photography have tried to think through this question? it is easy to contemplate this cynically and to dismiss this form of questioning as a waste of time. is it?


Blogger hermajestythequeen said...

I think I answered this question substantially in a comment on your clown shot. I would add however, that personality is not just within the expression, clothes worn and backgrounds choosen - but is in the moment when the eyes show a hidden depth. I guess the 'expression' extends to the muscles and wrinkles around the eyes and the final position of the eyes determine our feelings about the emotion portrayed (if any). having said this, I try to encourage a subject to be involved in one of their passionate interests and to become involved in this to the exclusion (not always possible!) of anything else. Pay attention to the background which may benefit by placing (or moving the camera angle) to include any sympathetic objects that relate to the subject or his interest (his or her or the animals passion!). As I have said before - often - if you have it in the lighting - you are 80-90 percent there. Maybe make life easy for yourself and subject by finding out their main interests - having something they can play with that relates to this/these and ask a few questions. It is useful to save one question which questions the amount of time they spend on their main interest - and what they would do with the time if they were not involved in this particular past-time. Many businessmen devote almost all their time to their business - so it can be tricky. Swot up on sailing, fishing, golf, gardening, painting and DIY terms so that you can discuss these - at least long enough to ask which has been their funniest moment - then release the motor-drive.

I think all the above is rubbish really - I never prepare as I generally command my subjects to smile or look thoughtful, serious, surprised and so forth. Otherwise I send them to the Tower. You will find your own special way. I still dress up with my crown as it always creates a reaction.

9:46 am  

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