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Old 06-06-2006, 11:35 PM   #1
Marcus Lim Marcus Lim is offline
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Photographing in the office




Hi,
I've just bought a 2nd hand Canon Rebel, and I can't wait to use it for my next project with a client (and once my broken foot has healed that is!).

I realized we shared many photography tips, but we never got 'round to talk about how we photograph good references for painting office-bearers - presidents, senators, CEOs etc. I hope this thread can open up some hearts their experiences photographing indoors for use in paintings.

Thanks a million!
cheers
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:27 AM   #2
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Marcus,

I've only done a couple of these types of portraits but I treated them the same as others. I use one main light and a soft light (or bounce the light off of a white card) on the opposite side to help give dimension to the shadows.

I feel it important to use one main light so as to keep the photograph as realistic to natural light as possible. I suppose there might be a time when another goal is requested and at that time I would try my best to keep it simple.

I hope others will join in this discussion who have had more experience than I.
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Que sort-il de la bouche est plus important que ce qu'entre dans lui.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:31 PM   #3
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Marcus and John:

The following thread is now (amazing to me) four years old. Having read it again I don't think I would change much.

http://forum.portraitartist.com/showthread.php?t=958

I don't think the approach differs much when you move from a four year old to a office holder. The exercise remains one of managing the light, and designing an artful composition.

I would like to say once again that every photo you take can be a study in composition and the design of light. These issues of design trump all other matters. Whether you paint from life or from photos you must first arrange your subject, and design the light to fall upon them. The camera is a great tool to study these most important issues. In a single afternoon you can make many attempts which can be studied and critiqued by yourself and others. Make your attempts as complete as you can from border to border and as artful as you can. Be particularly mindful of the background.

Find a friend, or a bowl of fruit, and set out to make the perfect composition. Before you can paint it you must design it.

There are many good examples of corporate / political portraits to study in SOG.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Thank you, Mike,

An excellent link. I hadn't seen it as I joined sometime after that time frame.

I would recommend that if available any portrait artist who is struggling with reference photography read it.

I am lucky. In my part of the country we have many, many major photography studios and 100's of professional photographers. I was in the furniture photography business and became friends with many of the photographers. In addition we have several good techncal schools that have courses on photography. Because of my location I found it easy to take an advanced course in photography with some emphasis on portrait photography.

Your link points out one of the most important steps and that is to practice which will allow one to see and think and not focus too heavily on just getting the shot.

Thanks again Mike.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:39 PM   #5
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Thank you John,

I too was lucky to have a friend that was a Hollywood photographer from the old days, and another source at a local camera shop to critique my efforts. Each would give an honest assessment of my many efforts. I spent a fortune on film and processing along with adjustments and reprints. The digital age has brought these kinds of efforts light years forward.

Scattered through this forum you will see where the good and great artists have been asked to list the components of a painting in their order of importance. Almost without exception you will find at the top of their list - design / composition. Why not study the most important of these components first. It never made much sense to me to focus on mixing paint so that you could apply it to a lousy design.

I continue to believe that the camera, combined with a generous mentor, is a wonderful way to study this most important aspect of painting. The set up necessary to paint from life is exactly the same set up you need to take a photograph. Do the setup: design the light, compose the subject and the background and record the effort, then seek criticism of your effort. When you get a consensus that you've done well save the image with notes as to the where's and how's of those efforts. I would concentrate on indoor shoots first because the light is much more controllable. These exercises will reap huge rewards when your client calls.

The camera is a popular item to vilify these days. Personally, I look at it as an important educational tool regardless of whether you ever use your photos as reference for painting.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:54 PM   #6
John Reidy John Reidy is offline
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Here! Here!

Exacctly right, Mike. I have been painting for over 40 years and there is a lot to consider when approaching a painting. I was advised early in my efforts in portraiture to identify my weeknesses and work on them. Knowwing this particular art form uses photography to a great degree I felt that a course on the subject was imperative. This does not diminish the other factors.

I too play with the light and have made the transition to digital photography and am not intimidated now when called (at least not any more than the beginning jitters that I face at the start or the anticipation of my client viewing the piece for the first time).
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:13 AM   #7
Marcus Lim Marcus Lim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McCarty
...Almost without exception you will find at the top of their list - design / composition. Why not study the most important of these components first...
I really appreciate these inspirations from both of you, John and Mike. It's strange for me how I've been shooting my fair share of photographs, and not having realized the essence of good photography. I certainly hope what we've discussed here has helped other readers of this thread realize that set ideas about photography goes beyond scenarios and genres.
Rather, composition should be the utmost concern here.

Thank you for highlighting this to me, guys.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
Tricia Migdoll Tricia Migdoll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McCarty View Post
Marcus and John:

The following thread is now (amazing to me) four years old. Having read it again I don't think I would change much.

http://forum.portraitartist.com/showthread.php?t=958
Mike it is now 10 years old and disappeared. You wouldn't happen to have it on file and can re-post it perhaps.?
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #9
Cynthia Daniel Cynthia Daniel is offline
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Any old thread links have to be changed from http://forum.portraitartist.com to http://www.portraitartist.com.

So, it would now be at http://www.portraitartistforum.com/showthread.php?t=958
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:18 AM   #10
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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If you follow Cynthia's link you will find the thread in question; however, the bulk of the original post seems to missing. I've made the following insertion into the post.

It appears that this post has been corrupted in some way and the remainder of this post has been lost. MM
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