Portraiture #1_Intro-Formal & Informal

Category: Education

Presentation Description

Intro to Portraiture, with a description of the difference between formal and informal portraits.


Presentation Transcript


Portraiture “Village3” Photo by chilombiano

What is Portraiture?:

What is Portraiture? “While it is impossible to obtain a clear understanding of a person’s complex character from a single stolen moment in time like a portrait, it is possible to convey something of a person’s character, as well as their attitudes and something about their ‘station in life.’ Others see the portrait as a story-telling device and it is evident that many of us see the contemporary portrait as a sort of time capsule, holding treasured totems of a time that may someday soon be lost.” Bill Hurter (Author and Photographer)

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Philippe Halsman More Halsman Winston Churchill’s back faces the camera, “but at that time in history his bulk and his seemingly immovable quality described the man who was one of the world’s greatest leaders.” Revealing the depth of a person and an inner sense of that person is more in keeping with what the art of portraiture is capable of conveying. (J.J. Allen quoted by Bill Hurter)

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Monte Zucker “If you are emotionally connected with my subjects when you see their portraits, I feel that I have done my job.”

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Jason Lee Sure, his children are adorably cute in their own right, but that's not what makes his photos so interesting. It's when he puts his own spin on their everyday moments that we not only get to experience our own childhood again, we're able to see a father's pride shine through. (Alice on My Modern Met )

Portrait vs. Photo of a Person:

Portrait vs. Photo of a Person Photo of a Person/People: Focus is on what they look like and/or what they are doing in that moment Portrait: Focus is on communicating something significant about the person in addition to what they look like

Styles :

Styles Formal Informal/Lifestyle

Formal Portraits:

Formal Portraits Carefully arranged and posed Centre of attention is the face Great attention to detail: backdrop, lighting… Main goal is to provide a likeness, but may also express information about personality and/or occupation Often done in a studio or other controlled environment

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Queen Elizabeth II Photographed by Cecil Beaton Follow composition guidelines: Rule of Thirds : eyes in top third Portrait composition is most flattering Golden Spiral may be used Balance : body/face is heaviest Lines go towards eyes; no lines move away from face Space to isolate subject “Less is more” is the rule here!

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Adam W. Herbert (Indiana University President Emeritus) Photographed for Indiana University

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Mother Theresa Photographed by Yousuf Karsh

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Jacqueline Kennedy Photographed by Yousuf Karsh

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Grace Kelly Photographed by Yousuf Karsh

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Audrey Hepburn Photographed by John Kobal

Informal/Lifestyle Portraits:

Informal/Lifestyle Portraits Casual posing: subject may be looking away from camera and/or engaged in activity Often looks more “natural” and relaxed May not strictly follow traditional composition guidelines More variety in setting, props, etc. Main goal is to express something about mood and personality

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Meryl Streep Photographed by Annie Liebovitz

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Howell Raines Photographed by Mary Ellen Mark

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Xavier Photographed by Mary Ellen Mark

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[Unknown subject] Photographed by Tyson Zahner


Activities Search the school for 5 possible portrait backgrounds. Look for clean, simple areas with few lines and colours. Take a photo of each and post it to your blog. Go online and look for formal and informal portraits that you particularly like. Post two to your blog with short descriptions of what you like about them. **Also post one portrait that you would like to try to replicate, with a short description of what you think you will need to do.**

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