My Hungry Heart

Archive for the ‘Portrait’ Category

Photographer type

Posted by shermancharles on March 20, 2008


© Sherman Charles
I ran across this list on one of the photoblogs. Thought it would be interesting to fill it out for myself.

————-

color: yes
black & white: yes

film: no, but wouldn’t mind
digital: yes

available light: when available
lit: when called for
heavily lit: no
over lit: not intentional

large format: no, would be sweet though
medium format: no
35mm: yes
holga/junk: no

shoots men: yes
shoots women: strangely mostly
shoots children: no

studio: no
location: yes

portrait: yes
photojournalist: suck at
fashion: no, but would try
beauty: no, but would try
still life: sometimes
fine art: dabbling
advertising: no, but aiming
outdoor: anytime
automotive: no
food: no
interior: no, but aiming for
sports: no
conceptual: no

travel and leisure-e: no but interested
urban: no
gritty: no
nike: no
high production value: no
low production value: yes
slick: no
raw : yes
grainy : no
saturated : no
captured moment: yes, aim for it
americana: no
weird: not really
stark: no
quirky: no
props: no
lyrical: ??
painterly: maybe
high contrast: sometimes, if it fits
naked: semi but working on it
cool: no
off moment: aim for it
awkward: no, but aim for it
muted color: no
crunchy (super sharp): no, don’t like
great casting: no
tight: no
landscape: yes, mainly seascape
action :no
sets: no
real people : prefer
models : rarely, good ones, never
trashy : no
heroin chic : no
vintage :no

gimmicky: no
kitschy: ?
Lord-of-the-Rings-y (overly digitally processed so people look like video game characters): no, don’t like

Platonish: no

natural: yes
fussy: no
unstyled: yes
overstyled: no
spontaneous: yes, aim for
sluggish: no
energetic: yes
vibrant: sometimes
clever: probably not

cinematic : possibly
snapshotty (as opposed to snap-shoddy): no
faux-testino: no

film noir: yes and me like

square: no

street: suck at

bad: sometimes

awful: rarely I hope
lame: no

man hands: think I have slender fingers

can shoot anything: my way
haute-shit : no

Posted in B&W, Creativity, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

The eyes

Posted by shermancharles on March 7, 2008

Portrait of Saudia

© Sherman Charles

I took this photograph two summer ago. I love her eyes.

Posted in B&W, People, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

People on Portraiture

Posted by shermancharles on February 6, 2008

© Sherman Charles

A great post on the Conscientious blog asking the question – “What makes a great portrait?” The question was sent out to some in the photography community.

In every portrait session I do I learn something new about portraiture. I am not sure if I am “making” a portrait. Sure I am determining lighting, camera angle, camera settings and lens, all things that determine the resulting image and how that image will be interpreted. A portrait with a shallow depth of field will have a different feel that one that is sharp to infinity. So my choice in these factors is a direct statement on my intent. Now the much more difficult and unpredictable variable is the portrait sitter. The person who is having her portrait taken is really the wildcard in the whole equation. Is she in a good mood, a soulful mood, playful, angry, depressed, overjoyed – and if she is anyone of those things is she going to portray the exact opposite when siting before the camera. Is she honest in what she is portraying? Do I, the photographer, care?

If she is happy can/will she portray someone who is sad? If she is sad, can she portray someone who is happy? Of course this happens all the time. Shuffle through the months entertainment magazines and you will see any number of made-up, stylized portraits of celebrities and socialites that may have very little of that celebrity’s true personality. The photographer and team are hired to photograph with a specific look being the result. Selling more magazines, promoting movie/tv show/record/product. This takes us back to the subject of intent. In my eyes, a portrait is a battle of intents, the photographer vs. the sitter. In those magazines I see more the intent of the art director/creative director/publicist/photographer than anything else. So are those really portraits if they are more sales pitches than anything else? It is confusing. I find myself confused even as I write.

Of course we have the cases where the intent of the sitter wins and the photographer does not think it is a good photograph. Perhaps the person being photographed is not conveying any real emotion, feeling, personality – anything that will make a photograph interesting. However it is a portrait. It is capturing an individual in the way they are. But why isn’t it good? Is that what a portrait is supposed to do? Capture someone in the way they are?
I am not quite sure. But I have seen plenty of good portraits. And they all have that “thing”. I think it’s that intangible thing that escapes definition or description. Like some others said in the Conscientious posting, it’s that thing you see when you see it. You don’t quite know why but it touches you somewhere and you say – “that’s fantastic”.

For myself I think a portrait that I like is more a portrait of me than that of the one who was photographed. I think it speaks more to who I am, my likes and dislikes, my mood and personality, my sense of who I am and what is good. It’s like listening to a song when you’re in a certain mood. Or hearing an old song from years past when you were a much different person than you are now. You remember who you were when that song came out. So you liking that song then speaks of who you were then. Conversely how you feel about it now speaks of who you are today.

Posted in B&W, People, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Dan Winters Unpublished

Posted by shermancharles on January 28, 2008

© Dan Winters

Editorial and celebrity photographer Dan Winters has provided ten never before published photographs from his personal archives. Truly inspiring work. I think my two favorites would have to Sandra Bullock and his father. The image of his father is striking, biblical if you may.

Posted in B&W, Inspiration, photograph, Photographer, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Recent …

Posted by shermancharles on January 1, 2008

Three recent portraits


© Sherman Charles


© Sherman Charles


© Sherman Charles

Posted in B&W, People, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Portraiture

Posted by shermancharles on December 6, 2007

© Sherman Charles

I love portraiture. I love images that capture a sense of a person. A mood, a feeling. When photographing people I tend to “go in”, focusing on the face and and torso. Not to say I do not do environmental portraiture. I really enjoy it. I take any opportunity I can to do such portraits. As circumstances and opportunities have it, the close-in stuff is what I am doing right now.

Posted in People, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fazal Sheikh Exhibit

Posted by shermancharles on October 29, 2007

© Fazal Sheikh

If you’re near Princeton University anytime soon check out the exhibition of Fazal Sheikh’s work at the Princeton Art Museum . Incredibly sad, tragic and utterly beautiful at the same time.

Read more here

Posted in Inspiration, People, photograph, Photographer, Portrait, Portraiture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Telling Stories (shooting projects)

Posted by shermancharles on September 20, 2007


© Sherman Charles

Lately I’ve been thinking about photographing in a narrative sense. Trying to tell a specific story with the pictures that I take. Right now that means shooting a number of images centered around a particular subject. It makes photography more interesting to me. Gives it a purpose and a discipline. When I review the photographs I ask the question – “Do these add anything to the story?” “Do they strengthen or weaken the portfolio I’ve built around this particular topic?”

Working this way has helped me to shoot with more of a purpose. For the frames that I take or about to take I ask myself what is interesting about this picture that I am willing to take it. If someone looks at this picture, what are they getting out of it? What can they say about it? Does this picture stand out on it’s own for any reason? After awhile it becomes a subconscious thing. And then there are times that I take a picture, I like it, but I don’t know why. For those I have to wait. I know the answer will come to me sometime.

Ultimately I see it as really developing your eye and being able to ask some honest questions about the work that you’re doing. It’s a slow process. Definitely not the click click click of the digital age. But I think it’s a good thing. My hope and feeling is that it will strengthen my own work and lead me to develop my style. I think that is how a photographer/artist stops being a trend follower and really starts producing.

Posted in Coast, NJ, photograph, Portrait, Portraiture, Urban | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »