Posts Tagged ‘portrait’

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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How to Shoot an Ocean Sunrise Portrait In an Ordinary Swimming Pool

Check out this album cover portrait photo of the Belgian indie pop band SX, shot by photographer Benjamin Von Wong. While it looks appears to show the band standing in the ocean with the sun rising (or setting) in the background, it was actually shot in a much more controlled environment: a swimming pool.
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Use Perforated Hardboard as a Backdrop for Epic Portraits with Beams of Light

Here’s a fun photo idea you might want to try out this Halloween: shoot epic portraits showing beams of light streaming in from the background. All you need are a perforated hardboard, a couple of flashes, and a fog/smoke machine (or some method of generating smoke).
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Clever Portraits of a Cat Using Sketches on Cardboard

You know those carnival cutouts that let you stick your face in a hole for humorous photographs? A Chinese blogger named toshiya86 had the brilliant idea of creating these cutouts for her beloved cat Guagua’s birthday. Humorous portraits resulted.
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The Faces of Dogs Combined with the Bodies of Their Owners

People often say that, for whatever reason, dogs often look like their owners. 27-year-old Swiss photographer Sebastian Magnani has been attracting a good deal of worldwide attention lately for his photo project that takes that idea to the next level. Titled Underdogs, the series of photos features portraits showing dog faces carefully Photoshopped onto the bodies of their owners.
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Photographer David Bailey with 142 Other David Baileys

This photograph shows renowned British photographer David Bailey standing with 142 men who share his name. You might be wondering how such a strange photo concept came together. If you remember, last month we reported that Samsung had launched a unique marketing campaign that asked any UK resident named David Bailey to step forward.
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Gregory Heisler’s Controversial Photo of President George H.W. Bush for TIME

American portrait photographer Gregory Heisler (whom we featured yesterday) is probably best known for his 70+ cover portrait photos for TIME magazine. One of his most famous portraits shows a double exposure, “two faced” photo of President George H.W. Bush. The photograph, shot entirely in-camera, was used as the first TIME “Person of the Year” cover photo.
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