just a statement of fact

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by mysteryscribe, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Since I cant rant and rave anymore just a simple statement of fact...

    every picture with a person it it is NOT a portrait. no offense intended.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just one question out of curiosity:

    Why can't you rave and rant anymore?

    And hey: is your avatar pic a portrait?
     
  3. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hm, do you mean "NOT every picture with a person in it is a portrait"? I would agree instantly with that.

    or "once there is a person in it, it cannot be a portrait anymore" ?
    I would have to meditate a looong time a bout that ...

    or "on this forum there are no portraits ever posted" ?
    could be argued but could be true ;) always depends on how you define portrait ...

    :wink: help
     
  4. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Errm, errm, is your ,.. errm ,.. no, I won't ask ;)

    sorry, you know I don't mean it :) :) .. don't you? :confused:
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Well at least someone is reading it.

    try this then:

    every picture with a person in it is not necessarily a portrait.

    Photoshop and good technique can turn that snapshot of your child into a better snapshot of your child, but can it really raise it to the level of a portrait.

    The picture in my avitar was never meant to be a portrait. Whether it rises to that level or not is debatable. It was meant for the rear of a book jacket so not necessarily a portrait. I personally think it meets my criteria says more about me than I am not wearing socks. But that is up for debate.
     
  6. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well, I would certainly agree that not every picture that happens to have a person in it is a portrait of that person. Like when I was in Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, the place was teeming with tourists. I had persons in ever so many of my frames that I did not even WANT in them. So clearly my photos of those persons are no portraits. In this, I am sure, I am with everyone here on the forum! Everyone.

    I also (still remembering our visit to that park) took a photo of a young Italian tourist taking a photo of his posing girl-friend who was sitting on the rim of a bowl shaped pool with fountain. MY photo of the two - though meaning to be OF THE TWO - certainly never is a PORTRAIT of the two. It is just a photo of the two, of that scene, of him taking her photo.

    But could his photo (that I never saw, of course, since I don't know those people at all) have become a portrait? What do you think? Or was it only a nice snap of her posing for him. Because all they thought about was the surroundings but did not spend any thought on special lighting (other than the big spotlight up there in the sky) or any other things?

    What is it that you think is needed to make the photo of someone's face (and shoulders, maybe) or of someone sitting on a chair in a stream of spotlight, or of someone captured at work in his daily (and life-determining) surroudings a portrait and not just the photo of said person?
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    fair enough, I (personally) think a portrait should say something about the person. Not just be a mirror image. Although that can be a portrait as well.

    Studio lighting does not make a portrait. Perfect lighting does not. I think you can look at the photograph of a person and tell what speaks to you and what doesn't. Everytime you take a picture of a person it is not a portrait and every shot in a portrait studio isnt either. Poor lighting will most often disqualify it.

    However in the main....(not always but more than half the time) A portait is pretty much filled with the person you are shooting. Ie a picture of a man on a sidewalk with the rest of the frame 80% street sceen is going to have a hard time reaching portrait status in MY mind.

    A skate boarder on a wall with most of the shot filled with the park is a nice shot but it is a person in a shot not a portrait.

    By the same token a head shot so tight it distracts from the subject hits me more snapshot than portrait most of the time. It doesn't have to be a classic portrait framing but it sure makes it easier for me to see it as a portrait if it is.

    Lighting: a portrait my have terrible lighting and still speak but the odds are it will be well lit if not perfectly lit. there will be hair on the subject's head. Not with his hair blended into the background though that is just a technical thing. But one you have to overcome to reach portrait level in my mind

    The person will have some indefinable, that takes it outside of the snapshot, look about it. If it isn't a classic portrait type

    there are lots more but you cant really write them all down. A portrait even a low quality one has something about it that raises it above the snapshot of my grandson.

    I think most people have an idea what a portrait opposed to a good snapshot is. Maybe its like porno, I cant tell you what it is but I sure know it when I see it.
     
  8. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well I guess whenever I get a new passport photo, I get a passport photo, not a self-portrait :lol: I think I get your point.

    P.s. you said you can't rant and rave any more; is this on the advice of a doctor, or lawyer? Either way I am very concerned, as the forums are much more interesting with rants and raves :lol: please don't stop!
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I tend to wander off point.... gets to be out of the scope i think sometimes. On the advice of what I hope is a friend.

    this thread it more to focus on opinions not my own.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Every photo with a person in it is not a portrait. True. But every photo with a person as the main or dominant subject is.
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've always used the phrase 'More than just a likeness' as my guide.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Here I have to disagree with fmw.. I have brownie shots of my childhood that are just me outside and trust me they do not rise to the level of portrait. At least not protrait as I see a portrait. they are meaningful snapshots for sure, but not at all what i would consider a portrait.

    One of the many many definitions of portrait is "Would I hang it on a wall?" duh no. So it failed the very first test of portrait. There are others but that one will weed out most of the people shots we see here.
     

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