Monthly Archives: June 2012
For most portraits the eyes are the most important part. For whatever reason the eyes seem to be the most communicative area of the face.
There are exceptions to every rule of course, and sometimes not showing the eyes at all can be a powerful statement on its own. But, generally if you show the eyes you want to make sure they are saying the right thing. The right thing depends of course on the purpose of the photo. A family photo is different than a head shot which is different than a portrait…you get the idea. Basicly, you have to know your message and have to communicate it on a basic level through the eyes.
This is a head shot I did for a friend, and as headshots go I quite like. It is certainly non-traditional, but for me it has all the necessary elements of a good head shot. It captures the way the person looks and gives a little indication about what on the inside.
For some people just smiling will capture a deeper part of their personality. I think this is what we like to call being Photogenic. Some people are very photogenic and some are very not photogenic, most people fall generally in the middle(as they statistically must). There are in fact some very beautiful people who do not have an easy time getting their “personality” to come across on “film.” There are also plenty of people who, in person are odd looking or downright ugly, but in front of a camera they look like a million bucks and you feel as if you are looking directly into their soul.
I love the ethereal style of this shot. That is accomplished using a very shallow depth of field, over exposing the back light, and looking down on the subject. Also, I used a neutral gray background (actually blue, but in BW it does not matter) so that the brightness of a white background would not distract from the details that are sharply in focus. For me, in this situation it was absolutely imperative that the eyes be razor sharp in order to make them pop out from the rest of the soft focus. For this particular image, if the eyes(the focal point) are not sharp the head shot falls apart completely and does not convey anything. Because a large portion of the frame is out of focus this would not do the job of a head shot unless the power of the eyes draws the rest of the frame into “focus.”
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This image has been waiting to have something written about it for a while now. I just could not think of anything to say. I should be able to find something to say about every image I create right? Well, I got to thinking about this assumption and the conclusion that I have come to is elegantly simple. If I truly have nothing, non-technical, to say about one of my images, that means that I don’t consider it Art.
Wow, this was quite a revelation to me. I had never considered the question of “what is my art to me” in such simple terms, but the more I think about it the more I am convinced. As a minimum bar for what, of my own work, I consider art, it is the most simple and decisive measure I could ask for. With simple taxonomy in mind, this blog takes on a whole new level of importance for my artistic process. As it is, this blog is for myself, for the most part. I publish it because I am hoping that other people reading it will help mitigate the “bullshit” factor. So far I have not had any “calling BS” responses(hoping that might change when I launch my new site and it’s easier to leave a comment), but the very idea that they might is a good deterrent to getting to self aggrandizing. What I am saying is that I want your help keeping this an honest and matter of fact look at my artistic process and thinking.
Now, to say a few words about this image and why I don’t really consider it art. Interestingly, if this was created by someone else and I saw it hanging on a wall somewhere I would consider it art. For sure there are many artistic works that many people have many differing opinions on. In the larger sense, the historic sense, it is those people, outside of the creator, who decide on what is art. That being said, the question of what the artist considers art of his/her own creation has an incalculable effect on future projects and self image as an artist.
This image here is a good image. It is a solid photograph. However, every decision I made when creating this image was a technical one. All those choices add up to a cool photo, one that many people might consider art, but to me, its creator, it is just not invested with anything.
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I’m gonna do something weird for this photo of the week. The next paragraph in this post I wrote a while ago and now I don’t like it and don’t really agree with it. Instead of deleting it and starting over I think I am going to include it in this post and just add the new version after it. This blog is about process so I thought it might be interesting. I might also be lazy, but I would like to think that I not so lazy that I cant delete a paragraph.
A tall pointy building in the middle of the desert…
So, you can’t go to Dubai without going to see the Burj Kalifa, as of April 2012, the tallest building in the world. I was prepared to be amazed. What I was not prepared for was the sheer size of the building. Massive is word that does not really come close, but will do for now. It’s huge triangular base looks like something from a science fiction film. It is truly one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. All that being said, I was not moved by the building the way I am by other huge buildings. The Burj is an engineering marvel, like so many buildings in the enormous city of Dubai, but it seems to lack “soul.” On some level buildings are the ultimate expression of humanity…(ran out of thoughts)
The New Version
What can you say about the world tallest building? The size is only believable when you see it. There is almost no way not be impressed.
This photo was taken from a path leading to the base of the tower, I would say I was several thousand feet away. A 16mm lens was not wide enough to be any closer than this and capture the whole thing. As it is the top is cut off in the image as well. I was quite tempted to change the brick of the path yellow, but that seemed a but over the top. However OZ would be a place where this marvel would be at home. In fact the reflective glass does give it a bit if a green tinge and the emerald city did come to mind.
I very much wish that I could have taken a trip up in the tower, but my schedule was prohibitive so this was the best I could do. To be fair the exterior vantage is better for getting the sheer size.
I have several other pictures of the tower and I think I will have more and better things to say when I post those. At the moment I have not decided how I want to approach the interaction of engineering, architecture and art. I did want to get this image out there so you could check it out.
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