After doing research about the past of portrait art, I’ve decided to make portraits to act traditional uses of posing and composition. I took photographs of strangers in Cropredy music festival because of their individuality and style. Here is some writing I did about the photographs I took…
‘I posed them and composed them very traditionally with their head pointing away from their body. I played with the lines in the image to make it neat, placing the subject in the middle as a vertical, and the landscape and the sky half and half as horizontals. Posing it like that revealed more about the person; what they are doing with their hands, what the are holding, and giving them confidence because they are directed where they need to be, instead of awkwardly doing things that they might believe to be a convention in photography. The portraits showed their individuality, and it showed them in their place of meditation; the peoples folk festival.’
I also took images of strangers in a less conventional portrait style and more a street photography style. Photos of people lying down, enjoying the music, unbeknown of me capturing their image. The people look at ease and content with their surroundings. Here’s my description of events…
‘The festival is like a place of meditation to these music lovers and it was literally that to some people. I photographed people lying down and listening to music with their eyes closed. They look at peace with themselves and their surroundings. Even though they are around people, they don’t care what they think; its like they don’t even know they are there. I flipped the images so it looks like they are falling, but its like they are falling effortlessly in meditation (similar to the photograph of the falling man by richard drew, but obviously less controversial and chilling) to suggest they are dreaming. Even though the composition is a bit more hectic, it is neat with the verticals and horizontals, especially with the dreamers in the middle.’
Before these images were taken I experimented with photographing strangers to get my confidence up. I’ve well documented the point that I’ve been nervous to take photographs of strangers. Even though I seem committed to doing it, I panic and don’t always get the image that I planned to under the circumstances. But practice makes perfect as they say, so I put myself out there and photographed people. I photographed strangers around my home town of Thirsk, at the Tour De Yorkshire and also strangers in Rome on my travels. The photographs were good but they weren’t as good as the photographs from the festival. The ones I took in Rome were trying to act on older traditional portraits, but taken in the digital world. I took the images using traditional composition and posing but edited them on photoshop with shallow depth of field and a sepia tone so they resemble a tin-type photograph. I liked the images but I thought they tried to hard to be old, and the editing wasn’t realistic to a tintype.
People I know
For people I knew I wanted to capture them at their most comfortable. I didn’t put as much effort into making them artistic and meaningful, I just wanted to capture people who I’m closest to and give them a nice portrait. I focused more on strangers because that was my weakness, but I also enjoyed taking these portraits.
I wanted to capture the people who mean the most to me (other than my immediate family). For this section I photographed my girlfriend Sam and my best friend Gabriel.
My second image is of my friend Gabriel. I’ve been friends with him since I was 3 years old, and we’ve joked and smiled ever since. We’ve always been interested in each others hobbies. Playing tennis, watching the same films, tv shows, listening to the same music and supporting the same football team. We’ve influenced each others decisions for 16 years. With my year at university I’ve been particularly interested in going to the gym and keeping myself fit. With the continuity of our friendship I influenced him to go, and we went for the whole summer. This photograph was taken after the gym, it was a posed photograph even though he could barely handle a straight face.
They aren’t as considered as a series, but the context and the moments in which these images were taken is a moment of happiness.