Saturday, April 12, 2008

Eye of the Beholder

I think of anything that I would like to master in photography is the art of the portrait. I'm not talking about those ridiculous portraits you get taken when you go to the super store and have the cheesy background of a fall scene with a wood fence and a bushel of apples and you want to be (or you TRULY are) convinced so bad that once the shutter button is pushed down on that camera, you will inevitably look as if you too were in Connecticut on a crisp fall morning picking those apples and frolicking in the Autumn leaves. Talk about your run-on sentences.

No, what I want is to be able to capture a person's face that may or may not capture the "truth" about that person. Like questions still linger and you thought you've pinpointed what the image is about and then, in a blink of an eye, you realize that you might not have drawn the right conclusion.

You've seen what I'm talking about...most notably to me, is the Mona Lisa. There is so much we don't know about her portrait and yet, upon further inspection, you wonder if you see a slight smile, you wonder who's balcony was she sitting on, you wonder why she forgot her mascara and her eyebrow pencil for such an important sit-in...oh, maybe I just wonder about that.

Well, enough talking, here is a portrait that once I took it, I realized that the overall picture wasn't my favorite. His expression looks apprehensive, scared...oh wait, this just in, it's being reported that this was about his 100th picture that his mother had taken in about 20 minutes and it appears that his picture (like Mona Lisa) is speaking to us. It's's saying...Mom, put that camera down or I'll put it down for you. There you have it.

But once I looked at his eyes, I knew that I had captured a great shot that I would want framed on my wall. Here I have cropped the picture, fixed the colors a bit, and sharpened up his eyes to make them standout.

And if you look really closely, you can actually see me holding the camera on it's side taking his picture in his pupil...trippy. But this isn't about me.

The eyes are what get me in any picture. The Pioneer Woman taught me that. I think you can get a great picture no matter what the subject is doing just as long as those eyes can "speak" to you.

So on that note, enjoy my virtual gallery showing what I have generously entitled "The Many Faces of Lawyer" or "From Willing Subject to Someone-Please-Remove-the-Apparatus-from-the-Woman's-Hand". I have decided to moderate from my perspective so please, humor me.

Photo #1: Oh, he's so happy to be the focus of my little project!

Photo #8: He's feeling comfortable in front of the camera at this point. Now he's working the camera...he for sure sees his future in modeling in Baby Gap.

Photo #34: At this point, he's just wanting to make his mama happy.

Photo #63: I think he's trying to plan his escape.

Photo #82: Seriously, woman, find something else to photograph.

Photo #99: The kid is down for the count and shielding his face like a celebrity caught on a night on the town by the paparazzi.

Photo #100: At this point, Lawyer went all Britney Spears on me and shaved his head and was beating me down with an umbrella. I guess a girl ought to know "when" with her camera.

PS: All photos have been messed with post-capture. And for some of those lit-up face looks, I actually made a homemade "reflector" out of foil and a cookie sheet...I need to get a life. And my child seriously thinks I've gone bananas. Good thing he likes bananas.

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