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Portraiture

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Geren, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

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    Along the same lines as the Still Life thread, I started this one with a view to sharing portrait work, getting ideas, discussion, inspiration, whatever you like. I'm attaching a few different portraits that I've made, including a corporate staff shot, a portrait for an artist's website and one of two of my three children...just as different examples of the kind of thing I find myself doing. We have a number of well established wedding and family/newborn photographers local to me so I have never tried to put myself into competition with them.

    I live in a town with what feels like an inordinate number of photographers locally who do weddings and family/baby portraiture of the kind that I'm sure we're all familiar with. It's not really my thing and I didn't see the point in trying to compete with established photographers so I tend to do product photography for the business side of things and any portraiture I do is either commissioned by the people I do product for or it's my own personal stuff which tends to be more environmental or about capturing character rather than making a flattering shot.
     
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  2. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Once again, something I don't really get - partly dodgy people skills and partly that I've never had the time to sit down and actually work it out (plus you need someone else to sit down at the same time!). I do take the odd one, though - I find the Black Mamba is surprisingly inconspicuous... or it might be the distance I can be away from people! This is about the last one - it's not perfect - I did a lot of buggering with the background before it went in the club's annual photobook, and there's a distinct shortage of catchlight, but I think it catches a bit of the character. Actually, I went back to the photobook, and picked out another one I liked (quality flaws notwithstanding!). But these aren't formal portraits in the sense that Geren, I suspect, started out meaning.

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    Doing this sort of thing with an 85mm scares the manure out of me!

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    Attached Files:

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  3. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Different styles but I tried to be appropriate for the subject and reflect their personalities.

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    My colourful friend. Always approachable. Always colourful and sits at her doorway to greet us all.

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    My friend and enigma. In the zone. This friend does marvellous photography using old cameras, processing and printing. Happy to say I have three of her works.

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    My old neighbour when I lived elsewhere. A wonderful mother and a fantastically fit person who runs and runs...
     
  4. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Not done many recently that I could call considered portraits. Did my son for his website other day, but they were photo booth standard. Got this guy near Brick Lane:

    [​IMG]_8180739mono by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr

    And this one was more of a grab in Petticoat Lane, but I like it:

    [​IMG]Gentleman in the Market 43 by Mike Longhurst, on Flickr
     
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  5. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Catriona, your "friend and enigma" looks as though she's been on the Julia Margaret Cameron juice!
     
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  6. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Do agree. I hate all the faffing when friends and relations ask you to take their photo. Then I have to go through taking out lines and blemishes until it represents nothing at all.

    I always do candids at family things, so will look a few out. They never make my flickr.
     
  7. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    That makes me happy. It was atrocious lighting in the hall where the classes were going on. I had to switch my brain to a different made and went for movement when taking her picture. I did manage to get others, as I pranced around the class.
     
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  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I hear you, but I find the camera to be a great ice breaker. Or something to hide behind! I forced myself to make portraits of our First Year Class at art school for a project and because I was experiementing with the idea of portraiture I took pictures that I had set up and decided how things were going to be, I took candids and window lit shots and studio set ups...and then I took photographs based on a collaboration with the subject, where they had quite a lot of input into how they wanted to be portrayed. It turned out they were my favourites, mainly I think because I took away the memory of the exchanges we had and not just a picture of a person.
     
  9. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    I seem to be surrounded by people who think I'm going to steal their soul if I point a camera at them, so what little portraiture I do is of animals.

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  10. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    @Catriona - wonderful examples, all. I love your colourful friend - I think we've seen her before in another shot but she makes me smile. What a wonderful legacy! The movement in the second picture has created soemthing to gaze at for more than just a few seconds hasn't it? Is this person the one who's book you sent me? If so I love her work and look at it regularly.
     
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  11. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    But I love this! The expression on his face is great! You've made me feel like I'd most likely enjoy a pint in his company. What could be better than that?
     
  12. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I like it too. Fantastic beard and I love the combination of pinstripe jacket and more tradtional wear all topped off by a corporate brolly!
     
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  13. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member


    Well if anything it's probably harder to catch character in a critter - but oh my, that malevolent moth!!!!!
    Seriously though, portraits of animals are probably harder. You can't tell a cat to look left a minute. Or even sit still. Does anyone else remember that episode of Sky Arts Master Photographer thingy where someone got a snake, a lizard, a sloth, a snail, a pet rock...and one woman got a cat? I felt so sorry for her.
     
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  14. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Yes, Andrea. Such a creative lady.
     
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  15. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

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  16. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I find this to be true only while it is aside and untouched. Everything otherwise quickly gets positively glacial.

    Other than pre-selfie tourists (will you take our picture please, you have to press this button) I don’t think I’ve come across anyone older than two who’d willingly have their picture taken, though my four year old grandson surprised me at Christmas by interrupting his play and deliberately posing.

    So no “portraits” really in my collection. Family snaps are mostly candids (a 70-200 lens is very useful) or exhibitions of gritted teeth.
     
  17. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Three more different types again.

    The first is A again, only this time more recognizable.

    The second is one of Annie reflecting the model time in London and use of film, now translated to digital.

    The third is a beautiful lady at the point of handing over my coffee. I deliberately included the setting. She was happy with the resulting image.

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    A In the zone

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    Annie

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    Co Co.
     
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  18. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Two Helensburgh Shopkeepers.

    It turns out that Fiona here and I have several friends and acquaintances in common but we'd never properly met before this. At the time she was the owner of the Helensburgh Toy Shop on the seafront. I'd been in when the kids were small to buy stocking fillers and to get birthday gifts and so on but had only ever exchanged customer/shopkeeper chit chat with her. I had just finished photographing Peter (below) and was of a mind to do a series of shopkeeper portraits (and actually, should revisit this in light of some other things going on) and now I can't even remember why she agreed to be involved but I was glad she did because she was just about to sell the business and move on. She'd been there for yonks and lots of people had great memories of her and the shop so it was lovely to capture her in her element but excited for a new adventure.

    I've known Peter for over thirty years. When I was about 20 or thereabouts I was the bar manager at a local hotel and he was probably my most regular (as in like clockwork) customer. I think he looked exactly the same thirty years ago. His shop is the likely the oldest in town having been in existence since even before we got a railway here and it has been in the same family all that time as well. I think it was Quentin Crisp who said something about not cleaning because after four years it didn't get any worse. Peter seems to subscribe to the same point of view and his shop is at once a marvel and at the same time a worry. It has the most marvellous ceiling roses and the original gas lamp fittings which sit side by side more modern (but not very modern) electrics.

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  19. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    I do love a series that tracks people through the years. I know there are about two years between her standing there with a badmintom racquet and the next one but just how much 'growing up' went on in those two years!
     
  20. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well ones I posted start at 8 and go on to 14, so quite a bit of growing there. I must do a full review of what I have from much earlier too. Best sequence my ex wife has and I can't get. Every year from when our kids and their cousins were tiny, we went to Boscombe for late summer break and last day we always sat them on the sea wall for a shot. Probably covers about 15/16 years.
     
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