A Portrait Doesn’t Always Have to Contain a Face

2 02 2009

An Inaugural Bow., originally uploaded by kamikaze productions.

Lengthy title, I know. But this is a relatively easy topic. A face must not always be the criteria for a portrait. According to wikipedia.org, a portrait is “a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant.” Well not all rules are made to be broken but this is one definitely is. Or atleast, they can give this type a shot a new title.

Either way, next time you are engaged in a photoshoot, or simply just taking pictures on a photowalk, do me a favor – break your subject down into fractions. Start looking at your subject as a whole and then look at it as the sum of it’s parts. In the picture above, I believe that I have captured the same amount of elegance as would be captured with the full body and face displayed in the frame as well.

Shooting at different angles gives us different perspectives, a choosing alternative subjects within subjects gives us new way of conveying our message without destroying the original intent of the shot. Now, get out there and try that, this should help with any mental blocks giving you a new range of images to capture.


Get in Tight

2 07 2008

I’m not sure about the percentages, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people who take pictures (notice I didn’t say photographers) like to fit everything into a shot. Photographers would probably opt to find a pleasant and pleasing composition when greeted with an immense scene, but people who take pictures tend to zoom out or back up. Well here is a message to picture takers and photographers alike – GET IN TIGHT!

I haven’t had a lot of time, due to my moving to NY, so I went back in my Photostream a bit to come up with an idea to blog. I stumbled across this photo and it hit me. People should know that frames and compositions are EVERYWHERE. Taking pictures of giant landscapes or of an entire building or an entire group of people is cool and all…but a photo becomes artistic, unique, and different when you get in close and find what really strikes you the most. With the picture above I did just that. I had the girl and the flower in one big shot, and it did nothing for my mind. It was a good picture but not a great picture. So I got in closer, found a frame that spoke to me and voila! A tighter crop produced a more vocal piece, and that is what it is about.

Here’s a piece of learning advice and a good way to practice – take pictures of a lot of small objects one at a time. If you are sitting at your desk bored, pull out your camera and take shots of your mouse from several angles, your monitor, keyboard, etc…and then see what looks good. If you have a super fast lens, like say – 50mm f/1.4 or something in that maximum aperture range, use it. Try out different bokehs in order to create the perfect amount of blur. Practicing on things around the house will get your eye trained to be anticipatory and ready for opportunities when you see them in the street or on your next photo shoot. So good luck and good shooting!