Thursday, July 7, 2011

Some photos and musing on manipulated images.

 I took this shot back in 2008, outdoors with supplemental lighting. The model is named Vivian. Vivian had some concerns about certain camera angles that she thought wouldn't be flattering. I had pretty much no idea what she meant. It is taking me rather a long time to get used to the idea that many people are concerned with how they look on camera. In fact I used to sharpen every detail even on my portraits. I don't really have a problem with wrinkles or freckles, but I'm having to learn to remove "imperfections", or accentuate certain features and subdue others. It's difficult in a way, because I find people so interesting, so beautiful that I don't want to change a thing. But the camera puts in it's own bias. So does the light. So do a lot of things. The portrait is not the person. It's a frozen moment in time. The best compliments I get are those which speak to capturing a person's "essence" and i just heard another photographer say the same thing exactly. I think it's what we strive for in one way or another.
 This is an older photo from 2005, taken in a cafe I think. her face and the angle of her pose, the tilt of her head reminds me of someone who might have posed for a renaissance era painting. I also like the contrasting feel introduced by the Ramones t-shirt. The Ramones were a pioneering punk rock band.
 This was one of my favorite "Poetry Night" portraits when I shot for a weekly open mic poetry event. This young woman had a very quiet, calm and charismatic presence. There were a lot of people at Poetry Night who impressed me very much.
This is a current "portrait" of a cappuccino. Yes, that is the correct number of p's and c's, I had to look it up. Shot in available light which was nearly 100% artificial and from numerous sources. Luckily the weird mix of color temperatures didn't ruin the shot. In fact I think the reflected yellow light from the upper left corner was an enhancing element. I have far fewer hangups and attachments about retouching a cup of coffee than a person's face or body. I can push the envelop quite a bit on a landscape or a macro. People are another story altogether.

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