An absolutely amazing Veteran's Portrait Project session...

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by tirediron, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I had an absolutely amazing Veteran's Portrait Project session today... A couple of months ago, I saw an article about a WWII Veteran who lived about an hour's drive from me, so I called the editor of the paper (who I know through my Wounded Warrior work), explained the Veteran's Portrait Project and asked if he could put me in touch with Commander Chance - he did, I called him and he was the most genuine, pleasant and forthcoming person I have talked to in a very long time. Today I went out to his house and we created his portrait, which I feel turned out nicely.

    Commander Chance is amazing not only for the fact that he's 97 years old, lives on his own, has a VERY cool 'E' Type in his garage, and completed a 30+ year career in the Royal Canadian Navy serving in both WWII and the Korean conflict; very few people can claim that! For @baturn: Commander Chance was the NAVO on Cayuga during Operation Sitting Duck - the shore bombardment!

    Additionally, after we were done and I was packing up, he said he had a photograph I should see and showed me a photo of himself as a young teenager holding a bow. He said, "Look at the signature" - you could have knocked me over with a feather when I read "Karsh"! Yes, that Karsh... his family knew the Karsh's well, and he'd posed for him several times. His father had also been photographed by Yousuf... I can't imagine that there are many father and son duos that have been photographed by Yousuf Karsh!

    [​IMG]
    Commander Peter Chance, CD, RCN (Ret'd)

    For reference, this portrait was created in his living-room in a space that might have been 8'x10'!

    As always, comments & critique greatly appreciated!


     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Very nice job on your part -- good photo.

    Joe
     
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  3. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

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    Excellent portrait.

    He looks like he has some entertaining stories.
     
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  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well Done, Sailor.
     
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  5. baturn

    baturn TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Wow! Great story. Amazing man. Outstanding portrait. BZ.
     
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  6. Jeff G

    Jeff G -Amateur Shutterbug- Supporting Member

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    Nice portrait and project. I hate to think how many stories never got to be told.
     
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  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Cool story! Nice portrait.
     
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  8. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Nice shot.....
     
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  9. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Awesome story. Portrait is spot on. Commander Chance doesn't look anywhere near 97, incredible.
     
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  10. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Joe!

    He does; some good dits about a run ashore in Kowloon... ;)

    Thanks Gary!

    Thanks Brian! :)

    That really is the best part of the project; talking to these folks and hearing their stories and memories!

    Cheers!

    Thanks Jeff!

    Tell me about it... I hope to be half that capable when I'm 20 years younger!
     
  11. DanOstergren

    DanOstergren Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've always been a fan of this series and what it represents, but I've always kept my critique to myself on these photos for some reason. This is a great shot, as are the rest in the series that you've done, but as a whole for the entire series I've always had just one nit-pick: the uniforms seem to mostly blend into the background, giving your subjects the look of being floating heads. The light on their faces is always great and really captures them well, I just always find myself wishing that you used light to somehow better distinguish the uniforms from the background. Perhaps a liiiiittle bit of a kicker from behind, or an additional light that's placed at a low angle up at the subject (like a loose clamshell setup), which would act both as a light that illuminates the uniform, and adds some fill light from below. Or you could even perhaps do that with a silver reflector. Another option would be to aim a light at the backdrop, just to illuminate it enough to allow us to see the form of the uniform and to distinguish it from the background.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
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  12. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks Dan; coming from someone who turns out the quality of work that you do, I take that as high praise!

    You're not the first to make that comment and looking at the image in a browser, I agree. That said, the underlying concept is for these to be printed as large prints (>20x30) and displayed for public viewing. My idea is that I want to highlight the face and decorations (if they're wearing any). When these are printed, there is just enough separation to make this work (for my taste at least). Looking at this image on TPF it is very 'floating head', but when I look at the .tif file in PS, the shoulders are distinct and the background subtly, but clearly visible and separate and becoming less so gradually toward the bottom of the image and the images that I have had printed so far (for the most part) have turned out exactly how I envisioned them. For some reason, when I first decided to undertake this, I had an immediate idea of how I wanted them to look, and for the most part, I've stuck with that. Right, wrong or indifferent...
     

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