IT IS ALL ABOUT THE EYES... EXPECT IT, and DEMAND IT~

January 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

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Regardless of the lighting, props, planning, goals, and emotions... there are essentially only fours 'types' of portrait photos...
 

  1. tight (head shots)
  2. medium (waist up or a tad wider, but ultimately just you)
  3. wide (you - with some interesting back ground),

    and lastly... the one the photographer has little to no control over. Often not even the lighting, the position of the subject, what the subject is doing, how they are positioned, or even what obstacles are in the way... but one of the funnest (to me) and most challenging (for most people)

     
  4. LIVE SHOW/ACTION - EVENT Photography - where having flexibility, adaptability, and patience is key, and complete control over the functions and ability with your gear necessary.


I can't say this enough... TIGHT MEANS EYE BALLS! IRIS' and LIPS/JAW LINE. ALWAYS THE EYES... they should be sharp, in focus, and as clear and well lit as possible. The eye color should pop, sparkle, and be as bright as possible. The eyes should capture the attention of the viewer, and whether looking at you - or away - then should display WHO THE SUBJECT IT, and some emotion.

Medium is still about the EYES, but add in the shoulders and upper body.

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Wide brings the tummy, hands, and legs into play... but it is still ALL ABOUT THE EYES & FACE if they are in the frame! Though the iris' don't have to necessarily be seen, the eyes still should look like they ARE THERE (and colorful, if they aren't black or dark brown)!

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LIVE SHOW/ACTION... often don't allow a flash or any special lighting or reflectors, or tripod, and one must hope the stage lighting is reasonable, the photog is patient, and camera setting are correct (and in manual mode). It's common that it's the 'scene' - not always the eyes, that is captured, though the eyes & head should still (and always) be the primary goal in most cases. (Some times the action, the hair flip, hand gesture, or scene is more important than the eye's, but that's rare).

 

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Maybe I'm weird, strange, or some perfectionist type... but it bugs me when I see 'head shots' that are 'staged' and 'posed' still images, taken in a controlled settings, which often leave the eyes bland, dark, shadowed, and doesn't make those IRIS's pop out of the image. Before facebook, instagram, cell phone selfies, those type of images would be laughed at... and the 'photographer' (person behind the camera) would have two choices: IMPROVE or find a new profession.

 

However, it seems, these days, far too many are far too accepting of less than honestly great images... and too many 'feel' cell phone snap shots are readily acceptable. WHY? Personally, I think it's because facebook, twitter, and the other programs that specialize in 'instant gratification' and sharing have dummyied down the expectations of what is acceptable. Does anyone have any other thoughts or ideas on the topic??

How do I get through to the musicians, celebrities, and professionals that they should expect posed photography in controlled settings to BE PERFECT, or at least 99% perfect, and focused ON THE EYES if the image is a tight or medium shot??

 

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Accept 'better then nothing' with LIVE SHOWS, LIVE videos, with SITUATIONS the photographer isn't in control of the lighting or angles... EXPECT PERFECTION otherwise! In fact, if you are paying for it, DEMAND IT!

 

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©2016, TerryMercer.com


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If you have any questions about photography, please feel free to ask. I might not know the answer off the top of my head, but odds are I can either help you find the answer or know someone that knows the answer. After nearly 45 years of playing with hundreds of different cameras, both film and digital, I probably don't know specific 'make and model' info... but I UNDERSTAND PHOTOGRAPHY, and the PRINCIPLES & CONCEPTS of capturing and creating good to great images.
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