Wednesday, September 09, 2009

.. to meet the faces that you meet

Charukesi muses on portrait photography.

Which is serendipitous. On my recent travels, a friend told me I don’t take enough pictures of people. So I tried. And now, in the wake of Charukesi’s post, I have questions.

Is it portrait photography if it’s not just the face?

Or if the face is incidental to the context?

What if the person is too far away to see the face?

Or not looking at the camera?

Turned away from the camera, even?

How about a portrait without faces?

I suppose the basic question is whether the subject is more important than the story.

Your views, please (pun intended).

With THIS one below, there’s no confusion. I’m rather proud of it


km said...

All lovely pics (and faces).

The one about the person being "too far away" reminded me of some European and Japanese filmmakers who deliberately avoid any close-ups. What you lose in the details you gain in the curiosity. Just *who* are they?

whether the subject is more important than the story.

If a subject is not the story, is it still the subject?

Deb said...

As I also commented somewhere else, I see you more painting pictures, either through your photos or your text. Pictures of life in action, with or without a story. I don't think you're too bothered about portraits. By the way, nor am I.

Man in Mufti said...

Well done, Meinher Obleix. :).

Why ask questions, why not just take lots and lots 'a pichers. And let some come out zimply, completely luverly.

BTW, some one on my travels recently posed as to why there was no known picture of a particular Indian smoking, even though he was known to be partial to the number 555. I posited that it was because the Canadian who portraited Sir Winston did not visit India.

But, back to your pictures, so what if some days you have traffic on the blog in 100s. I'm curious about the details.

The little that i myself know i learnt on a Click III, which i still have, but cannot use as B&W for little amatures has died out.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

KM, are you predic(a)ting a subjest who IS the story?

Deb, I AM bothered about portraits. Now if only Salma Hayek would pose for me ...

Mufti, Youssuf Karsh. The famous story was about his snatching away Winnies's cigar - you could always say the same happened to the State Express!


eve's lungs said...

Good pictures .You have the eye mein herr .

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charu said...

thanks for the kind mention, kind sir!
I do think it can be a portrait even if it is just not the face - but definitely, the subject *is* the story - that is what makes portraits different from hit and run photography?
but the 'too far to see the face' - nope, does not work for me as a portrait - that is good street photography...

Chronicus Skepticus said...

You know, you really need to stop centralising your subjects.

You know how when you write, your story has an angle, a point of view that is solely yours?

These pictures could be anybody's. They tell me nothing about the person *taking* them.

Umm, and that's all I've got, sorry.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

I see the point about not centralising the subject.
Can't understand the rest, though.