Tag : Black and White

Its all about the eyes…

Its all about the eyes…



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.”

Thanks for reading!!!



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Photographing dancers makes life as a photographer pretty damn pleasant…



What more could a photographer ask for given that dancing is all about physical beauty and emotionally charged movement. If there was ever a recipe for engaging photos this is it. We have all seen hundreds of images of perfect bodies, frozen in astounding positions, floating effortlessly in mid air. The best of these images are truly breathtaking.

For the image in this post I wanted to make something a little bit different. I say “wanted” but in this particular case the intention was mostly subconscious or just luck. I had three dancer in a studio after a headshot session, and they all just happened to be working on a piece together. We were in a dance studio so naturally there was the required wall of mirrors. I have found that given these parameters it is all but physically impossible for an impromptu “class” not to break out. This was fine with me because I have my camera all ready to go and as I mentioned before photographing dancers makes my job easy.

The particular piece that these three were working on didn’t involve allot of leaping about or large lifts. The dancers stayed close and entwined with each other for big chunks of choreography. I was fine with this because it was quite visually interesting and I wasn’t really set up to freeze motion the way I would need to for the traditional leaping photos.

I have several images from that session that I quite like, but I think this one is my favorite for a few reasons. First, although the composition is a little messy, it is still well proportioned and interest is added by the asymmetrical line formed by the dancers heads. Second, the eyes locked on to the lens, casting challenge to the camera are extremely engaging and they lock in the atention of the viewer and ground the the center of the image. Third, and you may not even have noticed it, is that only color in the image is in the skin, hair and eyes of the dancers. The background is completely white and the clothing is completely desaturated. This was something I did in photoshop in order to bring more interest and contrast to the image. Removing the color from the clothing to me creates a great deal of emphases on the beauty of the human body.

I know I have missed the last two weeks, I am just super busy, but I will not let it happen again. Thanks so much for reading!!!


Twitter: @danielcbloom