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Photography is applied mainly in business, science, and manufacturing. Most of childhood physical appearance, when one was one day old is preserved in photograph albums in the form of portrait images. This has drawn a lot of interest in this form of photography, as it is far much attractive and presentable than the map photographs. For example, most people prefer this genre because the photographs are presentable and easy to analyze. Some of the prominent photographers like Jim Zuckerman, Bill Neill, Lewis Kemper and George Schaub provided the basic information on photography that attracted inspired professionals who have recently improved the technology.
A photograph is not just a mere representation of what we see in reality in image form but, there is more meaning than what is seen by a naked eye. For one to understand the message being conveyed by a photograph, he/she should be having analytical observation skills. Photography is an art, science or act of creating images by recording by use of electromagnetic radiation or light that are preserved for future references. Either the recording can be electronic or by means of a light sensitive material. Light sensitive materials are the most commonly used means. A photographic material is inserted in a camera that is specifically designed with a lens. The lens focuses an object and produces an image that is recorded in a light sensitive material. The processes of photography are black and white, color, stereotypic, full spectrum, ultra violet and infrared.
The numerous types of photography are proving enough that people from all occupations loathe this art form. People practice this art as either profession or hobby. Some of the genres that are associated with photography are fashion, glamour, advertisement, nature that includes landscape, architectural and portrait among others. The two commonly used genres of photography are portrait and landscape. This project discusses the advantageous features makes portrait photographs more popular that other photographs represented by landscape photography. The features will also help us in understanding why the portrait is easier to analyze than that of other genres.
Landscape photography covers the general vast information especially on different spaces on the earth and is normally not concerned with finer details. Landscape photographs not only convey the basic aspect of earth scenery, but they also appreciate nature. Landscape photographs are efficient for documentary purposes but, they do not involve any human-related aspects. They require a high resolution to portray al the objects at a distance.
An example of landscape photograph.
Portrait photography is the photography that displays the mood or expression of the subject under photo shoot. The central focus of the photograph is the person’s face including the expression and mood.
An example of portrait photography.
Portraits, on the other hand, portray the important, basic details of human features. They are about personality representation in image form. They are designed to address on the fine details of an aspect that means the photographer should be near his/her subject. One can tell the age of a person by studying their portraits. The portrait does not lay much emphasis on the background of the subject like the landscape photographs. The front fine details are very important for the enhancement of the image to the required standard. The portrait photography is the most convenient for representation of images that require long-term preservation fine details for example, wedding photographs. As depicted above in the included photographs, landscape genre can leave many details unclear especially in the background.
The clarity of the landscape photograph features is dependent on the resolution and magnification of the camera. Black and white cameras are not suitable for this genre of photography otherwise, the background features will not be clear. Most will show darkness. Portrait genre normally represents clarity as most of the targeted photographs features occur on the foreground. They can employ the service of a black and white camera and produce clear photographs. The portraits shooting method is simple and even the inexperienced photographers or beginners can use it. They address cultures, events and traditions. Portrait photography should be an agreement between the photographer and the subject on the features to be portrayed on the photograph. These agreement between the client and the photographer can determine the type of the final photograph. Close analysis of most of these photographs indicates that they reflect their subject’s social status, physical attractiveness, authority or personality.
The genre offers various poses depending on the preference of the subject and the advice of the photographer. Other genres like the landscape do not require agreements of poses because the only reasoning that is presence here is only the photographer. The photographer might be required to repeat the whole exercise if the subject is not contented with the outcome in the portrait genre. However, the freelancer photographers can derive from experience the best-fit features for their own preference. For example, most of them focus on the eyes to convey the expressions and rely on the camera settings. The secret of great portrait photographs lays on the professional capturing of the subject accurately and creatively.
The image portrayed in the portrait example above represents the image of an old man in a natural pose and a somber mood seeming not oblivious of the photograph being taken. The landscape photograph does not fully represent the mood or clarity of the objects represented. The only concern here is that the subjects required should be included in the photograph. The color is also not part of concern for most of these landscape photographs. The portrait must present a true picture of the whole subject including the immediate surroundings of the subject. The whole photograph in the portrait genre is about the feature in a certain subject ignoring the background scenery. Most of the modes applied in the landscape photography are standard while the ones applied on the portrait are determined by the client preference. For the required results on the portrait photography, the following precautions are necessary when operating a camera:
Lighting For the Portrait Photography
Lights play an important role in portraying the right expression of the subject. Hard light is required when one is highlighting personality characteristics. Use of light falling at a steep angle like that of most landscape photographs may lead to wrong representation of features. This is in contrast to use of soft light that produces clearer images. Portrait photography produces the perfect photo shoots when studio set up light is applied.
Camera Settings for Portrait Photography
The setting of the camera for this genre easy compared to other genres. To get the optimum output, set the camera to appropriate settings. The camera settings should be adjusted to better control over equipment for an excellent final shot. For beginners, the best suitable mode is the automatic mode. Experts can tune the camera to manual mode and adjust it to their preference. Some of the modes that are contained in the manual option are portrait mode, aperture priority or black and white mode. Another crucial option in portrait photography is the zoom in that highlights the expressions of the subject. Zooming also allows the photographer time to include the required features in the photograph.
The photographer has the control to adjust the lighting when taking portrait photographs. The one for the portrait is simple because the inclination of the camera is not a big issue as one is sure of the details when the camera is held nearer. For The landscape portraiture, the inclination of the camera during photograph taking is very important as some features may be omitted accidentally. The common lighting plans that are applied are three-point lighting that uses three light sources to cover the object features, and butterfly lighting. Three light source uses key light, that is the brightest and is placed between thirty to sixty degrees off the centre and higher than the eye level, fill light that is placed opposite the key light, and the back light that forms the third lighting system of the three-point lighting. The kicker is the fourth light in the three-point photography and adds a bright edge to on the fill light edge of the images face. The second lighting that can be applied in the portrait type of photography is a butterfly that only uses two lights. The key light is set in front of the object while the second light is placed below the object to soften shadows (Keating 91).
Portraits can be made interesting by inclusion of elements like motion or an interesting formation/pose. For example, the foam from a beer bottle to signify celebration. Normally the surrounding of the subject denotes the mood in the photographs. Dark surroundings represent seriousness. A Smokey or foggy background may draw interest or curiosity. Clients may also choose these backgrounds with a hidden message on the significance of the photograph. If the portraits do not satisfy the customer preference, post processing should be carried out.
Portraits portray a person’s character, style, surrounding, culture and tradition among other aspects of the society. Other photography genres lack these features or contain incomplete representation of a person’s features. The analysis of portrait photographs is also easy as all the subjects are vivid.