Portraiture Photography


student

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2004
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littledigitalartist said:
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
Sorry, miscommunication. I am not into digital type manipulation. I thought we are still talking about photography instead of computer tricks! :dunno: (OK! OK! don't flame me!)
 

Feinwerkbau

Deregistered
May 11, 2004
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agape01 said:
There was an African teenager who posed like a model, but is suffering from the AIDs virus. As she is in the later stages of the virus, you can clearly see the skin and bones to know that she's going to die sooner or later.
I just chanced upon this thread.

Agape's post was the one that really caught my attention, and brought to attention, the fact that no one else was attracted to discussing, in the firum at least, matters as deep as these with a photographer who has so much more experience, and exposure than any of us.

What I find most saddening is that very often, the most powerful portraits, and sometimes, the ones that move the world, are pictures of ... old men and women. Of pain. Of life. Of wrinkles and smiles. Of death even.

I have yet to see a really meaningful portrait that has meant something to the world with an old man clad in a bikini, oops, of a young strappiung man clad in a bikini, or should that be of a young curvy girl clad in a bikini.

I don;t know. Society and precepts of beauty, attraction and value have seemed to over-run humanity.

I'll be honest. I love ogling when I look at a picture of a sensous or titilatting model rendered or portrayed as a sex object. No, I would not get turned on by a picture of Michelle Goh in a Nun's Habit. Sorry.

However, do I want to always try to take/create photographs where the main focus is on sensual or sexual attraction? If I wanted to be an artist, no, rather sheepishly, I would admit, I would not.

One of the most brazzenly sexy, tittatingly, sexual and intoxicating photographs I have ever seen in my entire life ... is a very craftful back-lit silhouette of over-lapped champagne flutes. Yeah, call me crazy, but I am not about to have fantasies about glass.
 

razor

Senior Member
May 3, 2003
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www.razin-photography.com
Truth has no feelings. It is pretty, it is ugly, it is painful, it is pleasure. Human portraiture is the capturing the "Truth" of the moment.
 

ortega

Moderator
Nov 2, 2004
23,702
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
try this

http://photography.about.com/cs/portraits/a/aa062303a.htm

"What makes a photograph of a person a portrait?

I take many pictures of people, both as groups and also as individuals, but there are relatively few that deserve to be called portraits. Quite a few pictures that other people describe to me as portraits I think are not.

A portrait is not simply a picture of a person. I can photograph a person and be interested in the way light falls on the different surfaces of their face or body, or the various colours of their skin and clothes, or the particular design of the tattoo on their chest. None of these is really a portrait.

What makes a photograph into a portrait is the intention of the photographer to disclose something about the character of the person they are photographing. If you are trying to convey something about a person's nature in your photographs you are making a portrait; if you are simply describing them you are perhaps photographing a still life that happens to be in human form.

Many studio portraits hardly qualify as portraits, more as exercises in lighting. Given that so many photographers seem to use the same lighting for most of all of their pictures, it is sometimes hardly a taxing exercise." by Peter Marshall
 

kavinoh

New Member
Sep 30, 2005
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Singapore
www.cri.sg
Portrait Photography doesnt have to a pretty female or even need to contain a human face in your frame, .... a baby's toes... a women's hands etc are all considered portrait photography.
 

DeSwitch

Senior Member
Oct 28, 2005
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I still remembered years back I had a very good opotunity to pratice potrait shots. I have a camera and as a newbie wanted to learn how to shoot. The opotuniy came as a one of my collegue wanted me to take some shots of her. In a way, we both gain as I have a life model to pratice and on the other hand she have a almost free photo shot. I didnt charge her for photoshot and neioghter did she charge me for the modeling. My first attempt was quite a success. She was happy with the results and showed her friends the photos. Gradually, I have a lot of so called model asking me to shoot. In all I have about a dozen phototaking sessions (all out doors). One of them used my photo for an audition for a teenage magazine and she became a full time model later. I cant remembered her name. Its already more than 10 years ago liao.


Unfortunately, my gears was stolen whe nmy house was broken into. I gave up photo taking until last year due to work and also unable to afford a new camera as I had invested all my savings into that camera.

The point is that there are willing models out there that are waiting for newbies to take their photo. As long as both parties gain, I think it a great arrangement. I only have to retake for one of them as the pictures dont turn out right. Now with DSLR, It will be easier to check what you have shot.

Photography is only my hobby, not my rice bowl. I like the fun of shooting for friends.
 

nicholas68

Deregistered
Jun 3, 2005
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Sembawang
"The inner silence of a willing victim".
Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908 - 2004)

If anybody want a PA pls PM me. I love shoot outdoor Portraits.
 

Cikgu101

New Member
May 25, 2006
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I'm also considered to be newbie since I only started photography in February last year ;)

my 1st expereince in shooting people and portraits is during a state beauty peageant charity photoshoot at a water fun park and nothing really got off until December where I attended my friend's cosplay photoshoot at Kuala Lumpur's Perdana Lake Gardens and I've been hooked on this type of photography ever since. :D

Went for a few Cosplay Events in KL recently but I still need more practice :thumbsup: wish me luck :bsmilie:
 

Arexer

New Member
Feb 25, 2006
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Toa Payoh
www.arexer.com
When I first shifted my subjects from 'pretty models' to the 'man-on-the-street' potraiture shoots, i realised that we are too dependent on our zoom lens all the while. I have learnt that potraiture shots are all about the intimacy and connection you make with the subjects. Its amazing how much one can acheive with a 50mm lens and getting close-up with the subject and striking up a relationship straight away. And its pretty tough to approach people on the streets in Singapore... but there are always nice ones around whose happy to 'entertain' for a shot or two...

Just my 2 cents worth....

arexer
 

excelglsi

Deregistered
Oct 11, 2005
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This is an open letter to everyon here in Clubsnap who are interested in portraiture photography...

The only reason i posted this is because i'm disturbed by the fact that how many people have agreed to assist in being PAs for the model shoots i am doing, and only for them to pull up last minute when he was informed that the model was a male... well, thankfully, a replacement has been found...

Anyway, the singular fact that one is interested in portraiture photogarphy only because it's an opportinuty to be in the vicinity of a "pretty" model pretty much sums it all up abt what kind of a person he is.

And of course, the other reason i wrote this is because a few PMs have been recieved, asking me if i would conduct lessons on potraits if they paid for models and such and honestly, i do not think i am qualified to teach, but i am willing to share what i've learnt so far.. so i replied, in the affirmative but i do wonder why there is a need to get paid models.. a young child, another fellow photogarpher, or any other subject would do. Getting a paid pretty face just to shoot is a sad excuse if you say working with a professional model will help.

Portraiture doesn't mean shooting the members of the opposite gender and taking the chance to ogle. Portraiture is about capturing the spirit and the nuances of that person. The character must come through...

Everyone seems to believe shooting a pretty female model would definately work and the picture would be a keeper. But on what level? A pretty face is easy to shoot, granted. but what would differentiate your shot from others? Poses? Outfits? Concept? Lighting? Everyone can take a snap shot of a pretty face but the hard work comes in communicating with the subject, scouting out locations for shoots, arranging logistics and transport for the make up artist and hair stylist, consulting them on the different looks... Now, can one tell me how this entire process differentiates from a paid shoot?

In fact, i wager i would have barely skimmed the surface, in regards to the full logistics and arrangements that are often required for a full day shoot...

So at the end of the day, if you think doing a shoot for a "model" is what you want, then by all means, go for it, but don't bother engaging a model just to shoot. It won't help you improve as a photogarpher, much less become a better person...

Do note that i am not disuading anyone from attending or participating in a paid shoot but what i am trying to highlight is the intention of the participant.
Maybe male model are more diff to shoot compare to female model..:thumbsd:
 

Reliance

New Member
Sep 17, 2006
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The only reason i posted this is because i'm disturbed by the fact that how many people have agreed to assist in being PAs for the model shoots i am doing, and only for them to pull up last minute when he was informed that the model was a male... well, thankfully, a replacement has been found...
do you pay them?
 

GummyBerryJuice

New Member
May 1, 2007
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Hougang, Singapore
This is an open letter to everyon here in Clubsnap who are interested in portraiture photography...

The only reason i posted this is because i'm disturbed by the fact that how many people have agreed to assist in being PAs for the model shoots i am doing, and only for them to pull up last minute when he was informed that the model was a male... well, thankfully, a replacement has been found...

Anyway, the singular fact that one is interested in portraiture photogarphy only because it's an opportinuty to be in the vicinity of a "pretty" model pretty much sums it all up abt what kind of a person he is.

And of course, the other reason i wrote this is because a few PMs have been recieved, asking me if i would conduct lessons on potraits if they paid for models and such and honestly, i do not think i am qualified to teach, but i am willing to share what i've learnt so far.. so i replied, in the affirmative but i do wonder why there is a need to get paid models.. a young child, another fellow photogarpher, or any other subject would do. Getting a paid pretty face just to shoot is a sad excuse if you say working with a professional model will help.

Portraiture doesn't mean shooting the members of the opposite gender and taking the chance to ogle. Portraiture is about capturing the spirit and the nuances of that person. The character must come through...

Everyone seems to believe shooting a pretty female model would definately work and the picture would be a keeper. But on what level? A pretty face is easy to shoot, granted. but what would differentiate your shot from others? Poses? Outfits? Concept? Lighting? Everyone can take a snap shot of a pretty face but the hard work comes in communicating with the subject, scouting out locations for shoots, arranging logistics and transport for the make up artist and hair stylist, consulting them on the different looks... Now, can one tell me how this entire process differentiates from a paid shoot?

In fact, i wager i would have barely skimmed the surface, in regards to the full logistics and arrangements that are often required for a full day shoot...

So at the end of the day, if you think doing a shoot for a "model" is what you want, then by all means, go for it, but don't bother engaging a model just to shoot. It won't help you improve as a photogarpher, much less become a better person...

Do note that i am not disuading anyone from attending or participating in a paid shoot but what i am trying to highlight is the intention of the participant.
Well said....i totally agree with you. I'm really keen to learn the art and technique in portraiture photography (i'm totally green in this genre)....even if you give me the f-ugliest subject in this world to pose for me.....i'll be more than willing to do it....the only setback i'm facing now is getting a subject and a 'mentor'.....and probably time factor (still stuck with 3 rotating shifts work).....sad......:cry:
 

petetherock

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2006
1,659
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A well written letter, which I tend to agree.
Been at it for more than 20 years now, and I did not use a paid model, even for my shots which I was paid for.

Not that there is anything wrong as wolfgang mentioned, but the challenge is in asking someone who doesn't look like Fiona Xie or Felicia Chin to sit and let you use the techniques you learnt in class or from books.

These days it is so easy to show the model your work, and she is encouraged to participate, and improve the shot.

Many are willing to smile more, tilt their heads this way or that way if you ask. Most simply ask for a copy of the shot. Colleagues, friends and even strangers will agree if you ask nicely. There will always be those who say no, but hey just move on.

As for the typical car / PC show / catwalk shots, it is much easier to get a of a beautiful woman than it is to make simple lady look good.

Again hiring a model is not the issue, but I say, you don't need one, and it can be a man, woman, kid, young or old.

The joy I reckon somes in shooting someone and making them smile at the result...

I include a couple of examples, not because they are fantastic, but I made the people in the shot smile and happy, and that made me happy too.

(PS: none of them were hired, just my fellow passengers)

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x244/petetherock/DSC_0146.jpg

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x244/petetherock/teresawallsm.jpg

This is an open letter to everyon here in Clubsnap who are interested in portraiture photography...

Portraiture doesn't mean shooting the members of the opposite gender and taking the chance to ogle. Portraiture is about capturing the spirit and the nuances of that person. The character must come through...


So at the end of the day, if you think doing a shoot for a "model" is what you want, then by all means, go for it, but don't bother engaging a model just to shoot. It won't help you improve as a photogarpher, much less become a better person...

Do note that i am not disuading anyone from attending or participating in a paid shoot but what i am trying to highlight is the intention of the participant.
 

nlghtxx

New Member
Jan 19, 2008
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many photographer dont even wana shoot male models at all , they only want to see hot babes posing for them. even tfcd photographers are not interested, what more than paid shoot?
me,as a male model can feel this fully.
 

dracwy

New Member
Jul 28, 2008
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well said wolfgang! it's not surprising to see that those threads in this forum with pics of female models are most viewed and most commented on. it's kinda depressing to see how people can neglect the beauty of capturing the most natural expressions of people on the streets... i hope bros here can put aside the conventional definition of "beauty", and learn to appreciate what other forms of "beauty" are.
 

shahdon

New Member
Dec 5, 2008
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Hello, i'm new here. I find this forum a great way to learn more about photography. I picked up photography years ago after i got my very first point and shoot digital camera. Now i've taken the plunge and got myself a DSLR with hopes to improve myself as a photographer. I'm really interested in portrait photography. I'd like to know from anyone here, how would you approach a total stranger along the streets to pose for a simple portrait? Sometimes when i'm out and about with my camera, i find someone interesting looking and he/she may not necessarily be pretty/handsome. I'm simply attracted by the expressive face or i think he has a story to tell with that face etc. I find myself holding back because i don't know how to approach him/her, especially Singaporeans because i know they'll think i'm siao and won't entertain me. And are there also other pointers that i need to take note of when i take portraits of strangers? :think:
 

timotheus

Member
Aug 1, 2008
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www.timothysim.com
bingo, reading wolfgang's post.

It's the main reason why I love portraits, or shooting portraits so much. I mean, yeah, 50% of the shot sometimes attributes to the model's face. But hey, what then, is the point of photography, or if i'd furthur define in my own language, photography with a sense of journalism in it?

It's about telling the story of the person, bringing out 'the character' as wolfgang said later on.

So, if your friend is... not as visually appealing, regardless of gender, we won't shoot them? Hell i'd shoot anyone and attempt to bring their own stories out. That's where I know i've succeeded!

Of course, i'm not trying to say i'm some portrait pro (i think i have plenty to learn), but i think we should step back and try to remember that portraits aren't always just limited to good fashion, glamour, nudes and visual appeal.
 

ipsum34

Deregistered
Oct 8, 2004
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well said wolfgang! it's not surprising to see that those threads in this forum with pics of female models are most viewed and most commented on. it's kinda depressing to see how people can neglect the beauty of capturing the most natural expressions of people on the streets... i hope bros here can put aside the conventional definition of "beauty", and learn to appreciate what other forms of "beauty" are.
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

sup3rm2n

New Member
Dec 20, 2008
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Singapore
i got a question, and dont know if i should post it here. What make a good portrait photo stands out from the rest ? is it a good model or is really the photography behind the camera?

Its like even nigel barker cant take good photo if the model dont pose well.