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06-11-2020, 05:58 PM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
To be more precise, what's to try?
I give up with you, Dan! There's no point. I couldn't have been clearer.


Last edited by clackers; 06-11-2020 at 06:06 PM.
06-12-2020, 12:24 AM   #137
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I give up with you, Dan! There's no point. I couldn't have been clearer.
Clearer about what? I posted a video and I said about it that it changed completely my approach in terms of portraits and photography in general. You started a discission about mutual trust and about models misleading photographers. I told you I'm not trying to find out if and why a model is telling me or not the truth about who she/he is because it's not my job to investigate if people are being honest or not when comes to their personal life. My job is to take as much authentic portraits as I can while I'm having as much fun as I can revealing the attitude and the genuine expression of the model based on the story the model tells me about who she/he is and what she/he wants to achieve.

There are tons of tips and tricks to get behind the standard fake or flat expression of the model but sometime nothing works because there are cases of incompatibility between 2 people. So again, I think we talk about 2 different things here. The video was about 6 guys, each of them having a challenge to shoot someone wearing same clothes, in the same studio, in 10 minutes, based on a profile they recieved. You disliked the fact that the model wasn't honest about who he is and you talked about mutual trust. I told you I'm not interested in this aspect because the private life of the people I'm shooting doesn't concern me and I can't pretend from a guy/girl who met me for the first time to open up when comes to their private life. If the person I'm shooting tells me he/she is the president of Malta, fine by me. All I know is that I have to take a portrait of the president of Malta and get the best possible results based on what he/she wants and based on the communication during the shooting session. I'm not starting to dig on the internet to see if he/she is lying me about who he/she is.

You also said that the photographers from the video didn't capture the true personality of him. It wasn't about that at all the experiment. That's why I said and say we're talking about different things. If you ignore the fact that you know that the guy from the video is not who he said he is and you just look at each image, what you see? I see powerfull portraits of the same guy and each portraits tells me a different story about that guy, like a chapter of his life. All portraits have expression, posing, vibes. That's what I love to see when I look at a portrait.

Last edited by Dan Rentea; 06-12-2020 at 12:45 AM.
06-12-2020, 06:01 AM   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
If the person I'm shooting tells me he/she is the president of Malta, fine by me. All I know is that I have to take a portrait of the president of Malta
Sorry, but that is absolutely the philosophy of what's called a 'hack'. No more from me in this thread, it's now a genuine waste of time.

Thank you to all the other contributors, though, you guys gave a lot to think about.
06-12-2020, 06:37 AM - 1 Like   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Sorry, but that is absolutely the philosophy of what's called a 'hack'. No more from me in this thread, it's now a genuine waste of time.

Thank you to all the other contributors, though, you guys gave a lot to think about.
Why it's a waste of time? Because we have different opinions about how we approach portrait photography and people we photograph? I understand you want to photograph people who only tells you the truth about themselves and that's more than ok to go to this route if this is what you're after. I was saying that I'm just looking to get the best image in terms of expression, posing, composition based on what the model tells me about her (the truth, a lie or half truth). I'm not judging people because they somehow hide their personal life due to lots of factors and it doesn't affect my relationship with them either. In time people open up and get comfortable with people they work with and I rather focus in the long term relationship rather than questioning the reasons why someone has chosen not to tell me the truth about her first time we met and did a shooting session. Sometimes you may find very pertinent reasons why someone has chosen not to tell the truth about her/him in the first place.

We like it or not, if we want to capture true authenticity as you say, we should all stop doing skin retouching and we should all tell to our models not to put makeup on their faces so that we can all capture true authenticity like Peter Lindbergh did for Pirelli 2017 calendar which featured famous women without makeup and without skin retouching. But, we don't live in e perfect world and each person see the beauty in something or in someone differently. For me it wasn't a waste of time this topic and our particular discussion. It was rather the opposite.

06-12-2020, 12:02 PM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote

In your top image, the guy's hand is in the picture, but the guy is not the subject, so the photo isn't a portrait. Making the wine glasses sing is the subject, it's photojournalism, or event photography, or whatever.

In the Australian portrait award nominee, the photographer (Kay Cypher) had many options of thinking what could dramatically capture her subject, and she thought the aged hands straight away told us of long life with presumably many experiences. And the context is some sort of medical procedure, during a time of vulnerability. We actually don't need to see her face to appreciate the humanity.
I am curious what you would call "The Babe Bows Out"
Nat Fein's Babe Bows Out - Holden Luntz


And this GPP 2012 self portrait shoot out. Hopefully they have intimate knowledge of the subject.

I know many people hate Heislers work. Are his Time magazine covers hack or inspired? Both seems the correct answer but leaning toward which?
06-12-2020, 01:25 PM   #141
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I am curious what you would call "The Babe Bows Out"Nat Fein's Babe Bows Out - Holden Luntz

I'd call it a great photograph that tells us a lot about the man and what he meant in his time. So, even though we can't see his face, if it isn't a portrait I don't know what else it is.

I've actually seen excellent portraits where the person isn't even in the photo, but just things from their life that tell us about who they really are. Heck, Virginia Woolf even wrote a great novel called "Jacob's Room" in which the main character never appears. We are told about him by various people whose lives he has been a part of it, and by the end we feel like we know him completely even though we've never met him.

As for the self portrait video -- it's just blokes showing off what they can do with gear.
06-12-2020, 02:20 PM - 1 Like   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I'd call it a great photograph that tells us a lot about the man and what he meant in his time. So, even though we can't see his face, if it isn't a portrait I don't know what else it is.
The interesting thing is he sees it as a portrait of the #3. The Babe is an aspect of the number. The story that day wasn't Ruth retiring, he had retired long before. The number was being retired that day.

"While other press photographers attempted to capture a portrait of the great American baseball hero wearing his uniform one last time, Nat Fein, tried to capture the iconic number on his jersey, "
06-13-2020, 12:38 AM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
The Babe is an aspect of the number.

Well, no, the number is an aspect of The Babe. The number wasn't being retired because of its unique once-in-a-lifetime threeness, it was retired because it was the number Babe Ruth wore.

So did Nat Fein really see it as a portrait of the number 3? Or did he see it as a photograph of the ritual of retiring the number, in which case having the number prominent is a way of telling us something about the man who wore it?

I think the quotation from Nat Fein himself on that web page tells us more about the photograph's intent than the line that you quoted from the web page's author:

“All the photographers were in the front, and I wanted to see how he looks from the back. So I figured, well, number three is out. The Babe bows out…” – Nat Fein

"The Babe bows out," not: "The number bows out."


Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 06-13-2020 at 12:46 AM.
06-13-2020, 01:41 AM - 1 Like   #144
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Well, no, the number is an aspect of The Babe. The number wasn't being retired because of its unique once-in-a-lifetime threeness, it was retired because it was the number Babe Ruth wore.
I certainly don't think there is a right answer. I think if there was, this photo is journalism. I am more saying completely different approaches almost unrelated to each other can be seen as portraiture or any other genre. It depends on what you want to capture.
Does a photo from someones good side or bad capture them better? Churchill stern because his cigar was taken or smiling because the treaty in Yalta was signed show different sides but not both.
In fact should a photograph capture an essence? A CEO wears a power suit at work but might be in ragged jeans at home. What should the photograph show?
On the other hand you might not want to show out of character sides. Getting familiar with the subject can let you see tensions out of character and history gives ideas of how to relax those tensions or get them past trying to act out the idea of what they think they should be and just be. I think this side is what Clackers is talking about.
06-13-2020, 01:54 AM - 3 Likes   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I certainly don't think there is a right answer. I think if there was, this photo is journalism. I am more saying completely different approaches almost unrelated to each other can be seen as portraiture or any other genre. It depends on what you want to capture.
Does a photo from someones good side or bad capture them better? Churchill stern because his cigar was taken or smiling because the treaty in Yalta was signed show different sides but not both.
In fact should a photograph capture an essence? A CEO wears a power suit at work but might be in ragged jeans at home. What should the photograph show?
On the other hand you might not want to show out of character sides. Getting familiar with the subject can let you see tensions out of character and history gives ideas of how to relax those tensions or get them past trying to act out the idea of what they think they should be and just be. I think this side is what Clackers is talking about.

I'm really trying not to go back down the blind alley of defining the word "portrait". For me, it's just about treating people in photos with respect as human beings, rather than as objects used to show off the quality of the gear and the photographer's technical skill.

I hope we can all agree about at least one thing though. Nat Fein's photograph is absolutely NOT about the shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh produced by whatever lens he was using on his sheet film camera (no doubt a Speed Graphic). In the case of this photo, the "subject isolation" caused by the fairly shallow depth of field really works well, but it's not a photo ABOUT the shallow depth of field.
06-13-2020, 06:49 AM - 1 Like   #146
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