Final Portrait Image

Once I had become more familiar with the overall concept of portraiture photographs and I felt like I had done enough research in relation to portrait photographers, but most importantly, in relation to the type of portrait photographs that I would like to construct myself, I decided to start taking photographs for my portraiture assessment. When taking these final photographs, I was able to think about all of the different skills and elements I have learnt over time and was able to use them in my own work to ensure that I would be able to come out with an image that could potentially be almost perfect. I was able to get two different strangers to be my subjects for my photographs, both who I was able to take pictures of due to the fact that my friend asked if I would be able to photograph them. I was able to photograph a male (Joe) and a female (Jay), which I think was beneficial as it meant that I was able to see how different lighting and overall elements looked on individuals of opposite genders, but by taking photographs of different individuals, it means that I will have a greater choice of photographs to choose from when it comes to me selecting my final portrait photograph. I came out with both good and bad photographs, which I will demonstrate before I present my final portrait photograph.

Here are some of the photographs that I personally think turned out well, but were not good enough to be my final photograph:

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From all of the photographs I had taken during this photo shoot, these were my favourite images and I mainly think I like these the most due to the fact that the lighting I have used in these photographs are all diverse – however, they all conform to the type of lighting I wanted to use in my photographs. I like the photographs where I have used the coloured gels as I believe that they make both Joe and Jay stand out more in the photograph and it makes them look more interesting, but I also like how they are posing in the photographs – at first I did ask my subjects to have a straight facial expression – however, I thought that this could get quite boring, so I then told them to do more fun and random poses, but also, I enabled them to pose in any way they wanted, so I would be able to capture it on camera. Moreover, I also like the images that use low and hard lighting because you are able to see a different side to the subject than what you see in the brightly lit images with the coloured gels in. From looking at these images, you are able to see that they are not perfect, hence why they are not my final photograph – however, I think they are some of the better photographs that I have taken from this photography shoot.

Here are some of the photographs that did not turn out so well:

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By looking at these photographs, you are able to see that there are a lot of issues with them, but the main issue is the lighting. In the images with the coloured gels, you are able to see that the lighting that was used was too bright, which made the whole of the photograph too blue and therefore, I had to keep changing the setting on the lights to ensure that the photographs would turn out the way I want them to look and that they would not be too blue. When it came to me taking photographs in low light conditions, I again had to take multiple photographs and keep changing the settings of the lights to ensure that my photographs would turn out the way I want them to be. If you look at some of the photographs that I did in low lighting above, you will be able to see that the lighting used was either too bright or took dark. In the first low lighting photograph with Jay, you are able to see that there is way too much light on Jay’s face – which makes her look really pale, but the second photograph is too dark. Nonetheless, I am glad that I did come out with bad photographs as it enables me to see the difference between my good and bad photographs, but at the same time I am able to look at these bad photographs and think about the ways that I could improve.

Once I had chosen my final portrait image, I then thought back to the research I did on Andreas Jorns and how he often presents his photographs in black and white, so I decided to edit my final photograph into black and white – however, I did not like it with this effect as I felt that it took away the main meaning from the photograph, so I decided not to use the effect on my final photograph. Nonetheless, here is the black and white version of my final portrait photograph:

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Here is my final photograph for my ‘Portraiture Assessment’:

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This has been selected as my final photograph for many reason – firstly, I like how I have used the lighting in the photograph as I have used low and hard lighting – which is what I wanted to conform to, but I have also conformed to the use of Rembrandt lighting – which is what I think makes the photograph look more appealing and interesting for the audience to look at as the right side of Jay’s face is dark, while the left side is lit from the light source that is coming from the left side of the camera and because there is no light source coming from the right side, you are able to see that the use of the Rembrandt lighting enabled me to partially light the right side of Jay’s face so that it can be seen by the viewer, but at the same time, they are able to see that she is hiding in the dark. I like how I have used a hard light in this photograph as I feel like it defines my subject more and makes them stand out more to appeal to the audience. Moreover, I think my composition has been though through well as I have decided to not do a full length portrait, but at the same time I have not done a close up and have rather done a torso shot so the audience are able to see my subjects face and part of her body as well. Furthermore, I also like how Jay is posing in this photograph as she has a slight grin on her face and is looking towards the light – which could represent that she is looking at something intriguing – which could potentially grab the attention of the audience and make them want to look at the photograph and think about what she could possibly be looking at.

Portraiture Research

As I have previously already looked into the concept of portraiture during the time in my workshops – I have not actually done that much research on my own to understand more about the concept of portraiture and the different elements that could be included in a portraiture photograph to make it appeal differently towards various audiences. For my own portraiture assessment, I have thought of some ideas and elements that I would like to include in my work. Firstly, I really do like the use of low lighting, so I believe that this will most likely be something that I will incorporate into my final image, but at the same time, I like some of the portrait images that are quite bright and stand out clearly, but most importantly, I like how some portrait images can appear to be a different colour – such as, orange, blue, purple and just general neon colours and I think this would be an interesting element to incorporate into my portraiture work as it is something different to do and will stand out when an audience views it. Even though I would like to use bright neon lights, I can still use low light in these photographs as the lighting I use will just not have to be as bright and will still stand out on a lowly lit backdrop. Due to the fact that these are my initial ideas for my final portrait photograph, I decided to do some research in relation to photographers that incorporate these components into their own photographs to enable me to see how professionals use these elements – which will hopefully influence me and enable me to think of good ways to portray my photographs to my audience. Underneath you will be able to see the different photographers I have done some research into to help me when it comes to my final portraiture photograph.

 

Lindsay Adler 

From looking at all of Adler’s photography work, I can clearly see that she is a make up photographer, which I believe is even more interesting for me due to the fact that I know her work will focus mainly on the face and the make up that the subject is wearing. I found that Adler’s photographs were really appealing and eye catching and I think this may be because of the colours that she uses in her photographs as she generally does not work with any plain colours – such as: black and white, but mainly works in colour – such as: purple, orange, pink. I think that using a range of colours makes the images more intriguing, but simultaneously, due to the fact that the main appeal of her photographs are the make up on the subject, she tends to use coloured gels that correspond with the colour of the make up that the subject may be wearing – which presents that Adler has though about the composition and overall look of her photographs in a lot of detail. Below is one of Adler’s photographs that I think will be influential to my own portraiture work:

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Lindsay Adler

I really liked this image when I first saw it due to the fact that I feel like all of the colours that have been used work well together and are all corresponding with one another. As I said previously, Adler likes to ensure that the colour gels she uses for her photographs correspond with the colour of the make up that the subject in the image is wearing. I think is is really appealing how pink make up has been used on the subjects eyes and then a purple coloured gel has been used, which constructs a neon colour and makes the whole image look pleasant overall, but at the same time, the audience is able to see parts of the subjects face shining – making her stand out more and putting all of the concentration onto the subjects face, which is what is intended as again Adler is a make up photographer. As well as the colour gels that have been used, I am also really intrigued by the lighting that can be seen as I think that low lighting is really appealing. The lighting that has been used in this photograph is beneficial due to the fact that it puts all of the concentrate onto the subjects face as the background of the photograph is quite dark and also the subjects body and top of the head is quite dark, but is still noticeable – while all of the light is on the face of the subject to again show the make up that has been used to the audience – which will hopefully appeal to them and will therefore perhaps make them want to purchase the make up that the subject is wearing. Although Adler does a lot of photography work that contains the use of coloured gels, she does sometimes take photographs that will use either a black or white backdrop and will tend to use a lot of low light – which again, conforms to the type of portrait photography that I would like to construct for my final portraiture assessment. Overall, I think that Adler’s work will be really helpful in influencing me and my portraiture photographs due to the fact that she uses a lot of elements that I would like to include in my own work.

Image Sourced from: https://www.lindsayadlerphotography.com/index

 

Andreas Jorns

Andreas Jorns is another portrait photographer that I found really interesting because of how he takes his images – he tends to present to the viewer what the subject is really like and that they are just a normal person like anybody else. What I found really appealing about Jorns’ photographs is the lighting that is used and after doing some research I found out that Jorns tends to use Rembrandt lighting, which I do remember being told about during one of our workshops in the photography studio. I decided to do some research into the concept of Rembrandt lighting and realized that it a specific lighting technique that creates a small inverted triangle of light on the subjects eye or cheek that is on the opposite side to the light source and as well as enabling the audience to see both of the subjects eyes in the low light situation, it can also be more appealing for the audience to look at and makes the subject themselves look more flattering. Due to the fact that I would like to do low lighting portrait photographs, I think that Jorns will be beneficial individual for me to do more research into. Below is one of Jorns’ photographs that I think is going to be influential to my own work:

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Andreas Jorns – The One, 2015

A lot of Jorns’ photographs do look similar to this specific photograph that I have chosen – however, I liked this one the most out of all of them due to the fact that it is something I would like to recreate when I come to constructing my own portraiture photographs. I find this photograph really alluring because of all of the elements that have been included within it – firstly, I like the lighting that has been used because the low and hard lighting makes it look like the subject is essentially hiding in the dark and you are partially able to see part of her face as she wants to stay hidden, but again going back onto the concept of Rembrandt lighting – I like how it has been used in this specific photograph due to the fact that if lighting was not present on the left side of the subjects face, then you would not be able to see her left eye and only half of her face would be present in the light, but by using Rembrandt lighting, not the whole of the subjects face is lit – which would appeal to the audience differently if it was, but it is only lit slightly with a triangle shape – making the overall photograph look more appealing as the audience are able to see that the subject is hiding in the dark, but they are also able to see her facial expression. One thing I noticed when doing some research into Jorns’ work was that he likes to present his photographs in black and white and I believe that this may have something to do with the lighting he is using because the lower the lighting, the less can be seen by the audience – so it may be easier to show the contrasts by making his photographs black and white. Nonetheless, I think the use of the black and white does compliment this specific photograph as it makes the subject stand out more from the backdrop she has been placed in front of. When I come to take my own portrait photographs, I do not think I will have them in black and white – however, this depends on how the photographs turn out and how I would want them to appeal to the audience. All in all, I believe that Jorns will be influential to my own work mainly in relation to the lighting that he uses as this is again the type of low lighting that I would like to incorporate into my own portraiture photographs.

Image Sourced from: https://ajorns.strkng.com/en/

 

Mike McGee

I also found McGee’s work to be really intriguing because of the colour gels that have been used in his photography to make his photographs have a neon coloured look to them. When looking at McGee’s work, I noticed that he is different to the previous two photographers I have looked at in the sense that he tends to take portrait photographs at full length or to the torso rather than doing close ups of medium shots of the subject and I think that this is an interesting concept to keep in mind as it means that the audience is able to see more of the subject and perhaps understand more about them as they could possibly see where they are located or what they could be wearing. McGee’s work continuously changes over time and he will tend to take a range of different portraiture photographs of everyday people whether he is in a studio or in the outside world somewhere. Here is one of McGee’s photographs that I believe could potentially be beneficial in helping me construct my own portraiture photographs:

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Mike McGee – 2017

When looking at this photograph, you are able to see that it looks like there is a lot going on and I think this is mainly because of the colour gels that have been used because if these colours had not been used and a plain black or white was used, then the photograph would seem quite bland and boring, but by using different colours – such as: green and purple, the subject stands out a lot more and becomes more appealing for the audience to look at. I believe that the coloured gels that have been used in this photograph are really important due to the fact that they are what makes the subject stand out as the colours are all over her body and because of this, I also think it is one of the reasons McGee decided to take more of a long shot than a close up on the face as it enables the audience to see all of the colours on the subject, but also the pose that the subject is doing makes it look as if she is looking towards the lights as if something interesting is occurring where the lights are coming from. Moreover, the majority of the coloured gels are on the subjects face – which again does draw more attention to her face – ensuring that the audience look at all of the subject rather than just looking at either her body or just her face. The overall lighting that has been used in this photograph is good and appealing to look at as the subject has not been lit too brightly, but at the same time, they are not too dark and have been lit perfectly as you are able to see certain shadows being casted off the subject. If the lighting was too bright, then the photograph would not be as interesting to look at, but because darker lighting has been used, it makes the coloured gels stand out more and put more concentration onto the subject and what she is doing. Overall, I think that McGee’s work will be influential to me and my own portraiture work due to the fact that I like how he has used coloured gels, which is something I would like to include into my own photographs.

Image Sourced from: http://www.mikemcgeephotography.com/

Week 9 – Available Light (Portraiture)

During this weeks workshop, our tutor decided that we would go outside in smaller groups and take portraiture photographs of other people in our groups, strangers or even someone we knew that was just passing by. This workshop was mainly about looking at the lighting that is used and how we would be able to control it. At the beginning of the workshop, our tutor showed us three photographs – one which uses a long shot of a subject, one which uses three quarters of a subject and another which uses a close up of a subject. We were able to look at these photographs in detail and analyse them in the way that we would be able to understand them and hopefully use certain elements and ideas in our own work. We were able to look at how particular apertures and shutter speeds were used to make the photographs appealing to the viewer. Once we had looked at these photographs, we then went outside in our groups to take some portraiture photographs using these three different shots for 30 minutes – I had both Rhianna and Cassie in my group. I felt like doing this was quite enjoyable and I was able to understand how to control the various lighting and equipment used in more detail, but at the same time I was able to comprehend how hard it may be to take portraiture photographs when you have no way of controlling the light. Once we had taken these photographs, we then went back to our class room and showed each other the photographs we had taken – in this time we were able to say what we liked and disliked about each others photographs and how we would all be able to improve them. Below you will be able to see some of the photographs that our group had taken for this task and again there are both good and bad photographs that came out of the shoot.

Here are some of the photographs I took that I think turned out well:

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From looking at these photographs, you are clearly able to see that they are not perfect as they do have some issues with them – however, these are some of the better photographs that our group had taken during this shoot. Both the first and second photographs contain the members of my group – Cassie and Rhianna – however, the last photograph contains one of my friends (Naomi) that was walking by while we were doing our shoot. I like all of these photographs because of the poses that the subjects are doing as they are looking away from the camera, which will make the viewer think that they are looking at something interesting and will want to know what is being looked at, so will be able to think about this for themselves. Out of all of these photographs, I would perhaps say that the second one is my favourite due to the fact that I like the colour that can be seen in it and the majority of the photograph is in focus – the only issue that I think I have with this photograph is the composition as I think that there is too much space above the subjects head, when instead the camera could have been moved down a bit more – nonetheless, I still really like this photograph. I do like the other photographs as well – however, my main issue with the first photograph is again the composition as there is a random line that appears on the wall in the very left of the photograph and I believe that this could have been thought about more – but also, in the third photograph, I think the subject should be centered more rather than being more to the left side of the photograph, but again this is all something I could improve on. Nonetheless, I was able to try out the three different shots that our tutor wanted us to do during this shoot.

Here are some of the photographs that did not turn out as well as the ones above:

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I personally do not like these photographs for a lot of reasons, but I mainly think it is because of the composition of them. I know that when we were taking these photographs, all of the subjects laughed due to the fact that we were in a public space and it meant that a lot of people would watch to see what was occurring and because of this it meant that some of the photographs did not turn out as well. Firstly, I feel like the subject in the first photograph is taking up too much of the frame, but simultaneously, she is also positioned to the left of the frame – which makes the overall photograph look unprofessional and out of place. I feel like the lighting in the second photograph is too light and you are able to see that the subject was not prepared for the photograph due to her facial expression. As well as this, you are able to see that the camera was wonky as the line on the wall is not directly vertical – which makes the overall photograph again look unprofessional – nonetheless, I like the use of body language by the subject and the way that her bag has been positioned on her. In the last photograph, the main issue again is composition as the subject is too close to the horizontal line on the wall – which looks out of place and unappealing on camera. Moreover, I believe that this photograph was taken too far away and that there is too much of the ground and room above the subject apparent in the frame. I personally think that during this shoot we should have tried out more locations to practice with various lighting more – but overall, I am able to see that our main issue was with composition and occasionally focus. Nonetheless, I am glad that I was able to see where my weaknesses lye when it comes to portraiture and especially controlling the light as I will be able to improve for next time.

Week 6/7/8 – Practice Studio Shoot

Our groups studio shoot did get pushed back by a few weeks – which meant that we were not able to get familiar with everything in the studio until later on – including all of the lighting and equipment that comes with it. Our original date to be in the studio was supposed to be during our week 6 Photography workshop – however, this workshop was cancelled due to the weather, so no one was even able to make it to the workshop. In the week 7 workshop, we all made and went into the studio – however, instead of being able to use everything ourselves and get to know all of the equipment, our tutor just introduced us all to the equipment and explained everything in the studio – which meant that we were unable to try it out ourselves as we ran out of time. Nonetheless, by week 8, we were able to go back into the studio and this time, we were able to practice taking photographs and set up the lighting ourselves for the whole two hours – meaning, we were able to try things out and become more familiar with all of the equipment in the studio. During this session, I worked in a group with Cassie, Olivia and one of the photography technicians – Sian. Working in a group this size was beneficial because it meant that we could all work together to sort the lighting out, but also we were able to have our own opinions and decide on what could possibly be done to improve some of the photographs. I did find this studio shoot very beneficial and I think it will be helpful to me when to comes to constructing my own portraiture photographs. Below, you will be able to see some of the photographs I have taken today and as usual, there are some good photographs and some bad photographs – which again enabled me to improve and understand what I may have been doing wrong.

Here are some of the photographs I took that I believe turned out well:

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From looking at these images, you are again able to see that they are not perfect, but I believe that they are some of the better photographs I had taken during this shoot. You are clearly able to see that the first two photographs were taken on a different backdrop from the last photograph and I believe that by changing backdrops it was useful as I was able to become more familiar with the lighting and how it would need to be changed because of the colour that is being used in the backdrop and how I would like the lighting to appear on the subject. I like the dark backdrop that has been used in the first two photographs as part of the subjects face is light, while the other half is quite light. During this shoot, I also tried to attempt the concept of Rembrandt lighting – which we were told about by our tutor in our week 7 workshop. I think this lighting technique is more apparent in the second photograph rather than the first as there is a softer light on the subject – which makes the harsh lighting easier to see. I like the last photograph I took with the blue backdrop as I feel like the subject stands out and looks quite ambitious – which I believe also corresponds with the blue backdrop that has been used. Overall, I am happy with these images that I have come out with and I am more confident with the studio and equipment inside of it and I believe that with more practice, I will get better with portraiture photographs and how they should be portrayed towards an audience.

Here are some of the photographs I took that I do not think turned out as well as others:

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I don’t like these photographs for multiple reasons and I think by looking at these images you will be able to see why. Most of these images were taken when I first started taking photographs during this workshop – which makes sense due to the fact that I was still getting used to all of the equipment in the studio and how it all worked. Moreover, you are able to see that both the first and last photographs are too bright, but the brightness is wrong for different reasons. In the first photograph, there is too much light coming from the back of the subject – which makes her look as if she has an outline around her body. In the last photo, there is too much light coming from in front of the subject – which makes her look too bright overall. The middle photograph does have good lighting – however, the light can be seen in the background, but also you are able to see the ground in the image – which means the composition in this photograph has not been though about thoroughly. Also, in the first photograph, the subject looks wonky within in the frame – which looks unappealing and unprofessional. Overall, I believe that it was good that I came out with some bad images as it enables me to see what I have done wrong and how I would be able to improve these issues for next time.

Final Still Life Image

After taking multiple still life photographs in workshops and in my own time, I was finally able to begin taking photographs for my final still life assessment while using all of the skills I have learnt over time so far and I applied them to the photographs that I took for my final piece. At first I was not sure on what objects I should use for my final piece – however, I finally came to a conclusion and ended up using three different objects – red roses, a perfume bottle and a moisturiser bottle. All of these objects relate to each other in the sense that they all link to the concept of beauty, which is obviously the main theme I am going for. Once I had decided to use these objects, I then thought about all of the photographers that I have previously researched and decided to think about how I should position the objects and what type of lighting I should use and once I had thought all of this through, I then decided to begin taking my photographs. Obviously, I came out with some good and some bad photographs and I will present the majority of the images I had taken and will then present my final photograph by the end of the post.

Here are some of the images I took, I believe that some turned out reasonable, while others did not turn out as good:

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From looking at the photographs above, you are able to see that I did try various things out when taking these images for my still life assessment – when it came to the composition, I attempted to move around a lot rather than move the objects as I wanted to try out numerous angles to see which would be the best for my final photograph. In some of these images you are able to see that the composition is not that great as certain elements could either just be sticking in or out of the frame which does not look professional, but also some of the images have too much blank space (such as the first image) which makes the image look boring as the main objects cannot really be seen, so it is not appealing for the audience to look at. In relation to lighting, I know I wanted to stick with dark lighting, so when changing the lighting I know I didn’t want to make it really bright as I knew this is not how I wanted my image to be presented – however, I did change the lighting slightly from time to time which you will be able to see in the images. I think the lighting in some of these images is good – however, in others, I believe it is too dark and again makes it hard for the audience to see what the objects are, but also I think it is uncomfortable to look at the photographs because of how dark some of them are, so this is one of the main reasons some of these photos did not make it to being my final image. Nonetheless, if I did not take multiple images then I would not have come out with my final image that I am now happy with.

Here is my final photograph for my ‘Still Life Assessment’:

Final Final 3

I chose this photograph to be my final image for multiple reasons – including, the lighting, composition, focus and the overall colour of the photograph. In relation to composition, I really liked this photograph because the objects do take up the majority of the photograph, but the background can still be seen slightly in the top right hand corner of the photograph. Also, I like how I made the perfume bottle lean on the flowers as it makes the overall image look more interesting and like the two objects are actually interacting rather than just randomly being placed next to each other. In relation to the lighting that has been used, I think that I have done well with it as the photograph is not too light, but at the same time, it is not too dark either – so the audience can clearly see the objects that are being displayed in the photograph. Moreover, I like the glare that is being shown on the perfume bottle as it is not too bright and makes the photograph more alluring and appealing to look at. Furthermore, the whole of the photograph is in focus which is good as it ensures that the audience know what to pay the most attention to in the image, but also I like the colours that I have used in the image – I did edit the image slightly after I had taken it to make the red from the flowers and the bottle stand out more, but I think this was an advantageous idea as it makes the objects in the photograph stand out more and is more attractive for the audience to look at.