Posts Tagged ‘portrait’

A Closer Look at Obama’s New Official Presidential Portrait

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A good number of websites are talking about the new official portrait of President Obama. It was shot in the Oval Office back on December 6th, 2012 by official White House photographer Pete Souza, whom we’ve written about quite a few times in the past.
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How to Create a Surreal Self-Portrait That Shows You Holding Yourself

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a photograph of you holding yourself up. I hope it will give you a good idea of how I create this type of image so that you can create a similar image yourself! Obviously, this is not the only way to create this type of image, but it is the way I have found most believable, as the connection between the two subjects actually occurs in real life. Enjoy!
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Presence: Invisible Portraits of Celebrities Hiding from the Camera

What defines a portrait? Is it still a portrait if the subject is present in the frame but hidden from the eye? If the answer is yes, then photographer Chris Buck has captured a series of unique celebrity portraits through his project titled Presence. If not, then each of the photographs simply shows a random scene.

The photograph above? That’s a portrait of famous American photographer Cindy Sherman.
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Photographing a Photographer: Shooting a Portrait of Joel Meyerowitz for the NYT

New York Times staff photographer Fred R. Conrad was recently tasked with shooting a portrait of acclaimed color photography pioneer Joel Meyerowitz. Freelance videographer Elaisha Stokes went along to shadow Conrad, and captured this interesting behind-the-scenes video in which Conrad shares some thoughts on the experience of pointing a lens at a master of pointing lenses.
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Shooting with a Polaroid 600 and an Off-Camera Flash

It has been a long time since I have asked for something photo related for my birthday. I usually don’t ask, just because I’m very particular about what equipment I use, and my friends and family know it. But this year, it was different. I thought about dabbling in some old school photography, so I asked for a Polaroid 600 camera. My fiancée stepped up to the plate and delivered, gifting me an awesome 1983 Polaroid Sun 600 LMS. I had some fun with my first pack of film, but then it was time to start pushing the envelope.

An idea hit me one day, and I knew I had to try something that I’ve never seen done before: shooting off camera flash with an older Polaroid 600 instant camera.
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BTS: Creating a Wet Plate Portrait Using an Ordinary Negative and an Enlarger

Slovenia-based professional photographer Borut Peterlin was recently tasked with shooting a portrait of painter/illustrator/author Milan Erič for influential Slovenian magazine Mladina. Peterlin decided that he wanted to create a wet plate collodion photo, but spent weeks worrying about whether he would be able to accomplish it given the tight schedule of the on-location shoot. He writes:

I can’t get rid [of] questions like where will I work, who will complain about it, where will I get water, will there be a drain to waste used water and developer, will there be enough light, will the person being portrayed have enough patience and what if something will go wrong with chemistry? If everything goes well, I make a portrait in an hour and if it doesn’t…

The night before the shoot, Peterlin decided to just play it safe by shooting the portrait on standard film and then converting the picture into a wet plate “in post” in a darkroom.
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Afghan Mona Lisa: The Story of the Girl Whose Eyes Captivated the World

In 1984, photographer Steve McCurry shot a portrait titled “Afghan Girl” that would become the defining image of his career and one of the most famous National Geographic covers ever published. In 2002, McCurry was able to locate the subject, Sharbat Gula, and learn her story. National Geographic then published a fascinating piece telling the story of the photo, the search, and the subject:

The reunion between the woman with green eyes and the photographer was quiet. On the subject of married women, cultural tradition is strict. She must not look—and certainly must not smile—at a man who is not her husband. She did not smile at McCurry. Her expression, he said, was flat. She cannot understand how her picture has touched so many. She does not know the power of those eyes.

Some interesting facts: McCurry shot the photo on Kodachrome using a Nikon FM2 and Nikkor 105mm f/2.5. Gula’s identity was confirmed by comparing her iris to the Afghan Girl’s. Although she had never seen her famous portrait, Gula distinctly remembers sitting for the photo — it was one of the only times in her life that she had a photo taken of her.

A Life Revealed [National Geographic Magazine]


Image credits: Photographs by Steve McCurry/National Geographic

American Tintype: A Portrait of a Tintype Portrait Photographer

Documentary filmmaker and photography enthusiast Matt Morris recently noticed a magazine article about a tintype photographer named Harry Taylor based in his hometown of Wilmington, NC. Having recently gotten engaged, Morris and his fiancée decided to have Taylor shoot their engagement photos using the 150-year-old photo process. They ended up sitting for a 5-hour-portrait session, and Morris was stunned by the results.

A few months later, he decided to return to Taylors studio with two Canon 5Ds in tow and spent an afternoon documenting Harry’s work. The fantastic 4-minute documentary above is what resulted.
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How to Retouch Portraits Without Losing Skin Texture with Frequency Separation

Here’s a great introductory retouching tutorial by photographer Sara Kiesling, who writes,

Basic skin retouching using frequency separation and dodging & burning. I use this process on every photo that I do, and I usually spend about 4-5 minutes on headshots like this (and less time on full body shots when there is obviously less detail in the face). This is not intended to be a high-end retouching tutorial, but techniques that can help people who want to do natural-looking retouching while maintaining most of the natural skin texture!

Frequency separation is a technique that allows you to give skin a smooth-yet-sharp look.
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The Benefit of Researching a Subject’s Life Before Shooting a Portrait

Here’s a nice little video in which photographer Matthew Jordan Smith tells the story of a portrait session he had years ago with American actor/dancer/singer Gregory Hines. After finding himself in a sticky situation with a subject that wouldn’t offer the personality and emotion Smith wanted to capture, he reached deep into the knowledge of Hines that he had accumulated through his research; one particular fact saved the shoot.
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