Portraiture Photography


Jed

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smallaperture said:
Photogs are in a way voyeurs and gearheads - these are 2 very common traits among photogs, whether you like it or not, deny it or not.
No. Some photographers are voyeurs. Even in the broader sense of the word.

And Singaporean photographers are *generally* gearheads. Photographers from overseas rarely tend to be.
 

Myst

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smallaperture said:
Yeah, well said. Pretty faces were mention. How about great body shape. I like both. All the buayas out there would have an extra incentive to shoot.

Photogs are in a way voyeurs and gearheads - these are 2 very common traits among photogs, whether you like it or not, deny it or not.

A great winning shot is very difficult to produce. Moreover, those very pretty gals tend to be rather snobbish, with their noses literally in the air, and so more difficult to work with. I prefer to work with Plain Jane or in local argot, Ah Huey or Ah Lian. They are more casual and easier to get the kind of pose and effect and more importantly the expression of the mood.
uhm.. i feel that its easier to take a "good" looking pic of a pretty ger then that of a plainer girl. Although, i feel that most *good looking* gers tend to lack a dynamic something that makes a person really stand out, either in a photo or in life. A person whom looks only at a smooth face, sees but himself.
And, would it not compliment the photographers skill if the shots that he take shows a different but still a real part of the person? Something that makes ppl seeing the shot goes, *wow, can't belive thats her.*

uhm.. you do need to know your gears in order to produce the best shot you can get from your camera. Doest help if you take a 300 fixed(prime?) lens and use it to shoot poritart.. can be done, just alot more hassle, i guess. That said, i still want my nikon FM + lense!!!!! *sobs* :p
 

dom72

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Let's not be so self righteous about male shutterbugs bitten by the libido bug (spanish fly?). In any case. there must be a connection between photographers and pretty girls . . . just look at all the camera distributors' clever use of scantily dressed models to promote their products. If everyone is so 'pure' then camera sales must be rock bottom. Lets see Nikon or Panasonic use scantily dressed male models (with their zoom lens bulging in bikini bottoms).

Yes, of course good portraiture photography should display good photographic skills as well as the emotions of the model (a picture of a really old toothless person will show either decades of pain and suffering or years of untold experiences . . . and not just the cosmetic value . . .

but why is it then, that majority of nature photos always show pretty and colourful insects and flowers or birds in all their glamour? How often do we see anyone boasting of an album of dull moths on plain wall?

Would a shot of a decaying carcass of a crow be looked upon as nature . . . no! Maybe journalism . . . titled: Mystery deaths: Crows die by the hundreds.

So, I am sure that all the ogling photographers out there are aware of what it takes to take a good portrait . . . but sometimes you must have a little fun as well. Anyway what's the difference between preference in shooting pretty girls and shooting pretty men . . . just a choice right?

I personally spend most of my time taking pictures of my little daughter as I think nothing beats a picture of pure innocence. But I must admit, she is quite pretty.
 

Myst

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uhm. can't speak for every 1 but, the cameras that i like, have not seen them posed with a sexy scantily clad model as yet... :p And i have see serverl moths pics that are really really nice. LIke thouses capturing the antenna or thoses of it blending in with the bark of a tree or something.

I think most *classic* pictures that we remember are not thoses of prettey young babes (no offence ment). Thinking bout good portrait that i've seen, the most readily that pops in my mind is the National Geo one of the Afghan woman's eyes or that of the girl walking down the street in the Vietnam war.
The only one that i can remember of fashion photography is the 1 of kate moss done for Guess... and that was for its shock value. lol

Speaking of dead crows, I remember 1 b/w shot of a dead bird lying on the road with a pothole open and steaming. A winter shot i think, and the whole grainy effect was that of despair and desolance. I thought it as a really good street shot, but i could be wrong.

Personally, I feel that theres nothing bad with taking pictures of pretty faces to polish up you skill as it does make the hobby more *interesting*. Of course, one should not forget that a good photo is more then physical appeal. Or am i being snobbish? :p
 

pointblankshots

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Wolfgang said:
So, why use the reason that "i must pay for a 'professional' model because she knows how to pose and therefore i will improve faster as a portrait photographer?"

You lose out in the end because you do not know how to get a model to pose if she is new, or have no idea how to pose next. Then you will be at a loss... and if you seem lost, the model's confidence will eode and then you will see the result of your delusions.

;p
You pay for a professional model because of her experience in front of the camera. Eventually, after your trial with your pro model, and assumingly if your pics are good. You should remember her posture when you had your session. From there, you'll have better ideas as to posing your amatuer talent the next time, even better improvising from there. You may wanna know that most professional models would already have their favourite lensman on standby to shoot for them whenever they need images.

Frankly, even if you were to offer your services at no cost, you wouldn't even stand a chance to shoot them cos' the professional models are in a different league compared to you.
 

pointblankshots

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Well said Andy... how have you been? If you're just starting out shooting ppl, and if you have some moolah to spare, get a pro cos' she's gonna teach you. Imagine what circumstances it would have been if it your first few shoot & the model's new? It's gonna be like the blind leading the blind...
 

Wolfgang

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pointblankshots said:
You pay for a professional model because of her experience in front of the camera. Eventually, after your trial with your pro model, and assumingly if your pics are good. You should remember her posture when you had your session. From there, you'll have better ideas as to posing your amatuer talent the next time, even better improvising from there. You may wanna know that most professional models would already have their favourite lensman on standby to shoot for them whenever they need images.

Frankly, even if you were to offer your services at no cost, you wouldn't even stand a chance to shoot them cos' the professional models are in a different league compared to you.
Well, i'm glad you stated your point of view. Yeah, you're right. I'm probably not good enough and i don't think models need me to do shoots for them anyway. I'm just another rank amateur i guess...
 

pointblankshots

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Wolfgang said:
Well, i'm glad you stated your point of view. Yeah, you're right. I'm probably not good enough and i don't think models need me to do shoots for them anyway. I'm just another rank amateur i guess...
Hey wolfgang, what I said dun mean to hurt. We all learn from each other, I may be shooting professionally but i've got things to learn from my counterparts too.

Just wanted you to know that models & talents are different. In fact, all this while, ppl whom you plucked off the streets and shoot are talents, not models. The term 'model' is reserved for those trained for the camera like those you see in print ads. Working with a model is another ball game.
 

Wolfgang

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pointblankshots said:
Hey wolfgang, what I said dun mean to hurt. We all learn from each other, I may be shooting professionally but i've got things to learn from my counterparts too.

Just wanted you to know that models & talents are different. In fact, all this while, ppl whom you plucked off the streets and shoot are talents, not models. The term 'model' is reserved for those trained for the camera like those you see in print ads. Working with a model is another ball game.
Nope, didn't hurt. :) And yes, surprisingly, i do know the difference between models and talents. ;) No skin off my back friend. Like you said, you are shooting professionally, while i'm not. I'm quite sure you're correct. Appreciate you taking time out to correct and enlighten us. :)

And of course, i'm have not had the pleasure of shooting models who were featured in print ads. :) You must be really lucky to be doing just that. :)

Cheers. :)
 

pointblankshots

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Yup andy, josh told me about this place... came to have a look la...
 

pointblankshots

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Guess we both found the website great really... So much vibe to see so many budding ppl here... Josh & me??? Guess we lost that lovin' feelin bout' photography & we're just coming here catching up on lost time...
 

Jawsure

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Andy... Looking for me?
 

Jugernauth

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hi,

can you help me in finding a kit of continuous flicker free studio lights fo digital portraits, do you have any links pertaining to that subjects

regards
 

juzjames

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dear wolfgang! that's pretty sad to hear, pa's pullin out after knowin it's a male model they're workin with...

just wanna share some experience here. i used to be a student of a uni (lets not mention names) studyin animation, and so we have to learn how to draw! and we draw nude models for 3rd semester, and everybody was VERY excited, ok guys, calm down!

so first day of class, *BAH* surprise, male model, name's TAO. this guy in his mid age of 30-40, with extremely muscular yet lean body. gettin all nude for us to draw.

now boys and girls, what do we learn here?

LEARN THE BEAUTY! where's the spirit guys? photographer is not about gettin fancy models, it's about the concept, and about who you are...

but remember, a pretty model is a plus ;)
 

student

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Just discovered this forum.

I am a rank amateur just like Wolfgang and others.

Right now I have several books in front of me

"Elder Grace" by Chester Higgins. This is a book of portraits of elderly black Americans from all walks of life - from construction worker to civil court judge.

"Wise Women" by Joyce Tennyson, on elderly women proud of themselves. One picture was a women with a mastectomy scar.

"Alfred Stieglitz: Photographer" on well, Alfred Stieglitz. Many of the portraits were of his wife, the famed artist Georgia O'Keefe.

"Portraits" by Ricahrd Avedon. The portrait of Marilyn Monroe is one of my favorites. This wasn't the usual sexy/sensuous Marilyn. I also have a book on Avedon on his journey on photographing the American West where a lot of portraits was done.

I also have books on portraits by the legendary Karsh.

Obviously, the portraits were great not because the sitters were "pretty"/"handsome"/"sexy" etc. Admittedly many were very attractive. They were great because they capture an essence of the person. I might be guilty of romantcising. But I think there is a depth in these portraits lacking in modern glamour and advertisement photographs.

I think the term "portrait" photography is unfortunately used very loose. I think a picture of a pretty face is just that. A pretty face. You may want to call it "portrait". Strictly speaking, you are right. But I think a portrait should capture more. However a pretty face, captured by portrait photographers such as Albert Watson has more depth than most you see in the fashion magazines.

Having said all that, I must admit that in the learning process of taking portraits of "strangers", I found it easier to photograph professionals, male or females. I can take my time, ask the models to turn here and there, move the light here and there. It is difficult to ask your toddler to keep still. Of course those are again another type of portrait photography. Not many of your "friends" are willing to sit patiently for you, unless they are fellow photographers! So I learn from photographying models. I learn what works and what don't. Now I can show my portfolio to friends and relative strangers, and they would happily pose for me!
 

asheley

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benson...can i be ur PA??? hMMm....PA seems fun ;)
 

littledigitalartist

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hi, im new to photography. just some comments from a very new newbie. (pick up photography after watching spiderman.)

i think a lot of ppl just uses pretty face to sell photography. "sex sells' and this marketing or advertising rule is very much apparent in everyday life. just look ard at orchard rd and shopping centres.

taking pic of pretty ppl is quite easy (in a way) regardless of what, that person will look good.(unless it highlights his/her ugly feature) shoot it in afternoon light and it becomes creative lighting. in early morning or late evening and it becomes good lighting. child photography (esp very young toddlers) are a test of real skill and reflexs and response... you never know when they will laugh/ smile. a good skill would be to bring out the nice features of 'normal looking (subjective) ppl and make them look good. wrinkles on old ppl, ppl wearing ethnic costume... etc etc...

when photographing ppl, its best to ask them (if they know it themselves) which feature to highlight which features to hide. this is important for THEM, but not really for the phtographers. from photographer's POV, it'll be which light and angle complements this person.

I am still learning and would jump at every chance to learn if someone gives the opportunity.im interested to be a PA too.. contact me?

btw, can someone comment on the fine line between soft focus and blur? really quite a grey area for me...

"Let there be light"
 

student

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littledigitalartist said:
btw, can someone comment on the fine line between soft focus and blur? really quite a grey area for me...

"Let there be light"
There is not a "fine line" between soft focus and blur.

There is a world of difference!!

Soft focus is in focus! It may make use of filters and lens aberration to reduce sharpness and resulting in a "softer", less harsh image. Whether one likes it is another matter. There is also another phenomenon when using soft focus lens - the high values sometimes "bleeds" into the shadows - giving a "glow".

A blur is a well, Blur! Meaning out of focus!
 

Paul_Yeo

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why need a PA?

i went to one outdoor shooting with a model in a group the instructor dun have a PA for the model..........

sorry, pardon for my ignorant........
 

littledigitalartist

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holland vee
student said:
There is not a "fine line" between soft focus and blur.

There is a world of difference!!

Soft focus is in focus! It may make use of filters and lens aberration to reduce sharpness and resulting in a "softer", less harsh image. Whether one likes it is another matter. There is also another phenomenon when using soft focus lens - the high values sometimes "bleeds" into the shadows - giving a "glow".

A blur is a well, Blur! Meaning out of focus!
well, if you apply too much 'soft focus' it becomes blur. (say in ps) so i was just asking in terms of digital editing, how much gausian blur (or any other blur to apply for soft focus and to which point b4 it becomes blur...
for example in ps tut in cs (the soft focus one), you apply a blur first, apply blending, then adjust the opacity... well if the opacity remains at 100, its considered blur, but to ard 60% (for soft light blending) its sort of soft focus...

my 1ct worth

cheers