I just Stumbled across this video and it is an eyeopener (sorry for the pun) for portrait photography:
I'm going back to look at all the old photographs and here is a very one that I remember:
Yes, that's an amazing eyecloser!
I followed the photographer's links and found another of his Youtube videos about jawlines. Double chins are hidden and the jawline is highlighted by slighlty pointing your ear towards the camera. Looking forward to trying these two tips.
Your Photoshopped "before and after" Squinch is execellent. I wish my Photoshop skills were as good.
I have added your image to the online page.
I saw this before. I think he must be Zoolander's photographer.
This is too contrived for my taste.
Probably useful to get a good safety image to start the shoot, but the real fun is in trying to bring out real emotions.
Even Francky's edited squinch, you can tell she doing a false smile anyway. If you got her to laugh and then captured the laugh, now then you'd have something!
100% agree! - I did it for fun, but it is not the reality.
And even a bit lifting of a mouth corner didn't help (hardly visible on the image above, but better here).
It's not a photoshopper's work to make a good picture in a lot of time, the photographer is the owner of the split second.
I found a "candid and not contrived" photo of Jack and uploaded to the site.
I liked the hovered picture and nicked it from your site. I also liked the "real expressions are caught by the photographer ...". Those photos are not easy and a lot depends on luck.
I agree with you both about the contrived poses so I found and uploaded a banner that I once used...
Actually smiles really are all in the eyes, but in a different way. A real smile would cause crowfeet wrinkles when those little muscles there (can't remember the name) pull at the corners of the eyes. You can tell if someone is honestly smiling just from the person's eyes.
I just find the approach a bit dopey. Saying a good portrait is "All about this" and "All about that" is the wrong approach. A great portrait is all about the expression, but the expression/emotion needs to really happen because for most people it's almost impossible fake an expression convincingly.
There's luck, therefore there's doing the damn thing over and over and over again to increase the odds.
I think photography's learning curve looks a lot like the piano's learning curve.
It's pretty easy to jump on the piano as an absolute beginner, and get a good working knowledge. You could do it in about two years or less. But going from fair to mastery takes over a decade additional.
I think the same is true for photography. You can learn the craft and theory of photography really fast. And the technique of using a camera really isn't as difficult as people make it out to be. Just practice and you'd get used to it. Mastery of photography is what few people can do, because it's not straight forward. The persons who are celebrated masters of 'photography', it's actually all about their personality (not all about the chin). It's all about their tenacity (not all about the squinch). It's all about their bravery (not all about the lens). It's all about their persuasiveness (not all about the camera).
Steve McCurry had the technique down to photograph the Afghan Girl, but first things first, he got himself standing in front of the Afghan Girl!
Richard Avedon had the timing and technique to capture amazing expressions, but first he'd evoke those expressions!
Photography is all about the everything.
I've played as photographer and played the piano (both not a master!)
After the technique comes a lot of practicing and developing the "feeling of the touch", and after a long time the player can forget the technical things and touch the keyboard or shutter with his/her intuition, and all other things you mentioned.
For the rare "extremely natural talented" people it can be easier, but I think someway they have to go (like in all other creative disciplines *) through the same process of maturing.
*) Exact sciences not excepted, mr. Einstein! (btw: he was a violin-player too)
[ot]The muscles that cause crows feet are the orbicularis oculi and the smiling muscles: levator labii superioris, zygomaticus major and minor.
How could you ever forget
Maybe instead of inanimate objects for the Photograph Competition have a Candid Shot. I should imagine that every photographer has at least one favourite.
This is just a taste of Peter Hurley's ideas, he interacts a lot with his models to create real emotions. His dvd can be an eye opener and has some interesting ideas - some will of course argue about the price...
The price of the DVD is a mere pittance, less than 2% of the price of his favourite
Same is now on my Christmas Wish List...
Oh really. I didn't know that. Wow, yup that's a price alright!
You know I actually do remember the 'zygomatic muscles'. It makes me think of zygote.
If you can pick up some ideas it's totally worth it
I long to try the MF and also LF cameras and hope to be able to do it next year, but we'll see...
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