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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Word on Portraits #1 (Sketching & Photos)

So, as I said, I'm NOT a Pro Photographer. I happen to be a legitimate traditional visual artist, and I have a long list/resume of all those things I do, learned, etc.

So, I'd like to start off with just some simple thoughts on Portraits, starting with my knowledge as a Traditional & Visual artist.

If you've drawn as many sketches as I have in my lifetime, you will start to understand what looks good, and what doesn't. That may also depend upon your culture, and since times change, that can also change.

I personally like to draw human faces in a flattering way, yet make sure it also looks like the person. (Drawing humans takes skill, practice, and finesse.)

But, there are also ways to photograph a person to make them look TOTALLY different than they look in real life. Think about that for a moment! ;)


The most popular thing, including my own preference, is to find an angle that flatters a person's face. If you don't know how to do that, I would say shoot lots & lots of Photos, until you start to figure out which angles look best. Ha! But, the easiest No-Brainer trick you can do is to draw or photograph from an angle that shows there person's jaw line.

Why?

Well, in this day and age, people like to look slimmer, NOT CHUBBY. So, the angle that best pronounces are person's jawline, makes the best view. That is generally angling DOWN on a person's face. (Not angling from below the face, nor strait on.)

So, that's THE TRICK.
Try it. You'll see what I mean.


I also prefer the jawline to look more pronounced as to see the shape of the bone. I think it shows more of the character of the person. No one, these days, likes a double chin photo. They just don't.

Here are just a few examples of my human sketches. I have so many, just not all online:


However, if you look at old antique photos, you will notice this was unpopular because plump, roundness, and baby fat faces were considered attractive. That's something to REALLY keep in mind, if you are doing antique inspired photos or sketches. OK?


Model Portriat Phill by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART



20 Min Pose Feb 12th by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


20-30 Min Charcoal Pastel by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


MC Echer Portarit 1999 Pastel by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


Self Portrait With Dragon Spir by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


Lovers' Atraction July 2006 by *BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


35 min Hongkong Lady July 2006 by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


35 min Tibeten Lady July 2006 by ~BlackUniGryphon on deviantART


To Ensnare a Bride 01 by *BlackUniGryphon on deviantART



So, if you've ever watched the film "Titanic" there is a scene in which 1 of the main characters sketches the other, and he instructs her to angle her head/face down. That's because it just looks better.


This same principle applies to Photography.


So, this also can be true for a number of camera tricks.






So, I'll give you some examples.

Since I'm a woman, meaning a female human, I regularly go through a monthly cycle, based on the hormones of my reproductive system. This generally causes me to have up to 2 times per month when I get EXTREMELY bloated. I HATE this! It's uncomfortable, I can't have sugars, and I need to watch out for my salt/sodium intake. I can't have ANY MSG, and going to the beach, just breathing the salty air, makes me plump up. It's VERY painful, it hurts my skin, and clothes hurt me. All this, and I also still exercise.

So, I'm already overweight. But, I'm NOT fat enough to wear Plus Sizes. So, In a month's time, I can fluctuate from a number of clothing sizes, and I'm very self conscious of this.

Generally, if I'm too plump, I shy away from photos... and drink water, and take Kelp/Iodine supplements.

Also, If I shoot my photos, I photograph myself from a more flattering angle.





I can use a hand held camera in a style called "Spontaneous Self Portraits", like so.

Or, I can use a Tripod. Now, take notice, I angled downward on my face. (Even tho' when I shot these back in October 2011, I'd actually lost quite a bit of weight doing hardcore yoga. But, I still was chubby.)

I tend to like the handheld spontaneous portraits, because I'm holding the lens close to my face. This causes the look of my face to warp. I just REALLY like this, because it can accentuate my stronger features, like my prominent nose, or my chin semi-cleft.


Yes, I'm strange like that. Ha!


So, yes, those are some of my tricks!

What? You didn't ACTUALLY think I was a beautiful woman did you?
It's just make-up & camera tricks! Ha!

Did you notice the differences in the photos? Notice the angles?
Notice how different I look?
This same principle can work for ANY camera, webcam, cellphone cam, etc.



Now, to be fare NONE of these photos are touched up. NO Photoshopping, no airbrushing. None of that.

But, I can do that also, if I chose to.


There is actually so much I could say on this subject. I will continue writing more blogs, maybe 1 or 2 more.

But, before I end this blog post, let me give you a suggestion:

Suppose you, or a chubby friend of yours wants a nice flattering photo... What do you do?


Well, the way I see it, nobody really looks all that bad, we just mostly hate looking too round, especially the double chin thing.

So, if you'd REALLY like to have a nice photo taken of a plumper person, and one they will like, and not shy away from showing on Facebook, or online, my best recommendation is THIS:

* Go to a building that has a stair well.
* Have your friend sit somewhere at the bottom of the stairwell.
* Have your friend look up at you. (remember the jaw line?)
* Then shoot several photos to see which works better. Some people look better smiling, where as others look better with a strait face.

* Be sure to take your lighting into account.


* Also, the more flights of stairs, the more you can experiment.

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