If you pay close attention to presidents, or money (or preferably both in this case) you may have noticed that one particular famous photo of President Abraham Lincoln taken in 1864 was the inspiration for the photo we now see on the five dollar bill. But you may have also noticed that the President’s mole is on the wrong side of his face on the money. Well actually it isn’t, the “mirror image” on the five dollar bill shows the President as he was in real life. The original photo, taken using an old technique called daguerreotype, is a mirror image.
Not unlike the tintype photography we posted on earlier in the week, daguerreotype yields a one-off positive on a photosensitive plate. The downside of this type of photography and the lack of a negative is that the final image is at the mercy of the lens optics, leading to the mirror image you see above. So remember, the mole was on the right side of Lincoln’s face… just in case a fifth grader gets indignant telling you otherwise.
This inspiring time-lapse video of Portland, Oregon was created by Uncage the Soul over the course of 51 days in March and April for the TEDx Portland conference. They captured 308,829 separate photographs at 50 different locations in and around the city. Each second in the video took an average of 3.8 hours of work to create. Their hard work paid off, and the film was given a standing ovation by the sellout crowd when it premiered.
Leica recently put out this short portrait of renowned street photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who talks about his beginnings as a photographer and also his role in creating an archive of the destruction and recovery at Ground Zero. Starting from a few days after the 9/11 attacks, Meyerowitz shot over 8,000 in and around the site with the help of a special workers pass that gave him privileged access.
Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres recently sent one of her staff members named Amy to a JCPenny to pose as a studio portrait photographer. As clients came in, Ellen watched the scene through a hidden camera and gave Amy exact instructions for what to say and do through a hidden earpiece. The resulting interactions between photographer and portrait subject(s) were hilarious.
Having a flattering portrait as your drivers license photo is difficult to achieve, but so is having a portrait that stands out as being bizarre. Reddit user adambard successfully accomplished the latter. He wanted a novelty drivers license photo, so he decided to shave half his hair and the opposite half of his beard. Just in case you’d like to follow in his footsteps, you can view a step-by-step documentation of his process here.
Here’s an excellent video tutorial by photographer Peter Hurley on how to improve your portrait photographs by focusing on the jawline of your subject. It’s a simple technique that can drastically improve the quality of your images.
For those of you who are interested in the fine art of studio lighting, here’s a video in which American celebrity photographer George Holz talks about how he went about photographing Beyonce for the cover of Spin magazine.
Here’s a quick and simple tip for better portraits by Reddit user rmx_:
Everyone has a lazy eye. By that, I mean one eye is always smaller and/or more closed than the other eye. In some people, it is very easy to spot; in others, nearly impossible. The “beautiful people” have more symmetrical faces, but still, one eye will open more than the other. (Denzel Washington has one of the most I have seen [...])
[...] here is the tip: get the smaller/lazier eye slightly closer to the camera. Oh, and don’t tell the person what you’re looking at their eyes for! You’ll make them self conscious. Simply ask them to look at your finger and move their head to follow it, and then guide them left or right as necessary. Chances are, the movement needed will not be so much that you have to adjust your lights.