Portrait Wednesdays: The Many Faces of Pamela
Sep06

Portrait Wednesdays: The Many Faces of Pamela

In 1988, photographer Gary Bernstein, along with Bernie Taupin, published his first book called Burning Cold. The only model whose photographs appeared in the book’s pages was Bernstein’s wife, Kay Sutton York. I’ve been flogging Wordless then Wordy Wednes-days for many years and thought it was time for a change and inspired by Burning Gold decided to see how many Wednes-days I could publish a different portrait of the same...

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Blurring The Lines
Aug10

Blurring The Lines

“When life gets blurry, adjust your focus.”—Internet meme Blur, soft focus…take your choice. I received an e-mail from reader Carol Baker. As a movie buff you gotta know that name got my attention. Carol told me she likes “the effect that blur and selective blur can have” and feels “blur and selective blur can add mystery and depth to an otherwise ordinary photograph.” As far as I know, there is no rule about how...

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Following the Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’
Aug07

Following the Trends: ‘More Portraits Please’

“The photographer, even in fashion and portraiture, has to have a standpoint. It’s important to know what you stand for, no? Most people just take pictures, but they stand for nothing.”—Peter Lindbergh Last year, at the suggestion of one of this blog’s readers, we added a new section to the right-hand column called “Top Posts.” The idea being that anyone who was new to the blog, would be able to see the most popular five or six...

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Depth-of-Field for Portraits
Aug03

Depth-of-Field for Portraits

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” – Peter Adams One of the basic laws of imaging is that only one part of a three-dimensional object can be truly in focus at the image plane and that areas located in front and behind that focus plane appear more or less in focus. At the point of critical focus, there is a range of acceptable focus that’s one-third in front of that point and...

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What is a Portrait?
Jul25

What is a Portrait?

“every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself.”― Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray Recently I was talking with a photographer/friend from the East Coast and he showed me some of his latest portraits.  I was surprised to...

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Why It’s a Good idea to Test
Jul07

Why It’s a Good idea to Test

Back when everybody shoot film, testing was an important part of improving your photography and most people wouldn’t shoot an assignment or any critical images before testing the concept or gear beforehand. Before clicking the shutter, medium and large format studio shooters used (expensive) Polaroid film  and others would shoot test rolls or run clip tests before trying anything new. Along comes digital capture with its instant...

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It’s Not the Equipment, It’s the Photographer
Jul05

It’s Not the Equipment, It’s the Photographer

“At this point, I have… come to the realization that neither equipment, nor technique can make up for inspiration, vision and message.”—Dan K. Let’s get this out of the way first: Equipment doesn’t make portraits, people do. It’s obvious that you’ll need a camera and some kind of light source, even if it’s two lightbulbs (as was the case in this image) or the sun, to shoot portraits but you...

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