Monday, 23 April 2012

Portrait, scale and setting


Starting with close-up framing of my model for ‘portrait-scale and setting’, the first thing that became apparent was, because my model was facing the Sun, squinting was quite hard for her not to do. So to combat this I told her when I was about to take the picture and this helped.

   I also discovered that for me, taking close-up shots, the portrait orientation was more effective. This was because I thought it made the face appear rounder rather than flat, as in the landscape orientation. For this reason and because I think I got the framing nicely tight (although not too tight), the final close-up photograph (4) is the close-up photograph I consider most successful.

When I pulled back for the head and shoulders portrait I was basically experimenting with how the face and shoulders were facing the camera. I think all of them turned out all right, including the landscape one, which I wasn’t expecting. I found turning either head or shoulders (or both) made huge differences to the outcome of the portraits with regards to what effect it had on the viewer. For example the straight-on portrait 5 made the model look honest, while a slight turning of the head in portrait 6 made her look inquisitive. My favorite of these however is number 7 with her head leaning and shoulders slightly turned. This is because those two factors combined make the pose natural yet composed.





Pulling back further for the head and torso shots started to reveal the setting I had chosen: a park with spring daffodils dotted around the area. The hands of my model also started to feature and I arranged them differently to see what effects this would have. Just by changing the hands and head inclination around a bit, my model’s demeanor changed from being reserved (9), to open (10), to accommodating (11), to inquisitive (12), to inviting (13). My favorite photo out of these is 13 because it looks like she is looking at one of the daffodils in the setting, which complements her expression. In this regard (the eyes seem to be looking at another part of the photograph) this photograph is similar to the portrait by Gervais Courtellemont of ‘A woman poses in holiday attire next to a basket of red peppers’, Asturias, Spain, 1931.


   Finally for the full-length portrait, I tried changing the composition so she wasn’t so central. I think this worked quite well in landscape orientation as it highlighted the daffodils as well as her face. In the portrait orientation I arranged the composition to highlight the daffodils in the foreground (I placed her head quite high in the frame). I think 17 worked best at this because the hands didn’t detract from either the daffodils or my model’s face.

   The eyes dominated the close-up photos; I considered them to be the ‘points’ of those portraits and the weight of the viewer’s attention is mostly between those two ‘points’. The weight of attention was still quite strongly concentrated on the eyes of the model for the viewer for the head and shoulder portraits. However, I think the eyes are less salient here and compared by the viewer with other parts of the face or clothing take less importance. In the head and torso shots I saw three main components that attract the viewer’s attention. They are the eyes (still), the hands and also the setting. These three components are quite balanced in my opinion. For the final full-length pose my attention drifted between the face (and so to some extent the eyes) and the setting, which in this case happened to be daffodils in the park.

No comments:

Post a Comment