July 2012 Insight

July 1, 2012

By RF Staff

As we were putting the July issue to bed, I started to ponder the old saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” particularly as it applies to photographic portraits. A great deal of expression and emotion is often captured in one’s eyes, but as more and more photographers create portraits, the definition of that word has evolved, as you’ll see and read about in this month’s Portrait Issue. Take for example the “Not In Your Face” series done by fine-art photographer Susan Barnett, who only photographs subjects from the back, typically to capture the personal and political messages on their t-shirts.

And a captivating portrait is not always of a human, as demonstrated by Winnie Au in “Haute Hounds”, or Seth Casteel’s underwater pooches in “Dogs Gone Viral”. A portrait is also not always posed or formal, like the sweet, silly, surreal images Jason Lee did of his two daughters that became an online sensation almost overnight, and Eve Kakassy’s hip children shots taken under the name “Petite Simone”.

To round things out, we take a look at a history of ranching with some austere portraits of Arizona ranchers by Scott Baxter; the elements of a portrait shoot, as outlined by veteran photographer and lighting guru 
Michael Grecco; and the growing trend of “Modern Day Pinups,” demonstrated by three photographers who are thriving in this sub-genre of boudoir photography. And don’t forget to check out Jim Cornfield’s piece on Polaroid’s Impossible Project; our pick for “Photographers You Should Know” this month, Jeffrey Milstein; and writer/photographer Andrew Darlow’s tips for creating window light portraits without any windows—in this instance using a couple of adorable dogs and a pet pig as the subjects. Enjoy!

Photographer: Winnie Au
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Focal Length: 50mm
Exposure: f/7.1  
ISO: 1600
Location: Tompkins Square Park, New York City, at the Halloween Dog Parade, October 22, 2011.
Comments: “Gumby was one of the last dogs to show up at my outdoor studio at the parade. It had been a long, crazy day of adorable dogs in costumes, and as we were winding down, owner James Foote brought Gumby onto my set. I was super excited to see such a striking costume [he’s dressed as a gladiator] and majestic dog. Gumby sat down for a second, looked at his owner and I snapped this photo.”