Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them. — A.A. Milne

Photography DiscussionThe Language of Lighting

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

The Language of Lighting

Post by St3v3M » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:29 pm

I've always been fascinated by the way lighting affects us and thought this would make for an interesting discussion.
- Trump’s Official Portrait and the Language of Lighting

Please feel free to add your opinion, other articles, and images that support your side of the discussion, all I ask is to keep politics out of it. S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
PietFrancke
Mentoris Secundus
Mentoris Secundus
Posts: 1492
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:38 pm
Location: WV
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by PietFrancke » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:12 pm

my take on the comments indicating that "sinister" lighting was used. It is hard to remove the subject (and thus politics) from the results.

Was the photographer intentionally "spoiling" the shot - perhaps for political reasons?
Was the subject sabotaging the photo session - be giving direction, or not allowing proper time, or poor selection of the photographer?
Is his portrait considered "poor" work?
If a man is known (or often described) as one with a massive ego - would he not want an image that tells the story that he wishes it to tell?

And my favorite question of all... Are these the images that Trump likes? Perhaps he likes to be perceived as sinister.

Regardless, I feel that I learned a bit from that reading - thanks!

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:20 pm

PietFrancke wrote:...
Regardless, I feel that I learned a bit from that reading - thanks!

Thank you for being the brave soul to jump in first!

The few pictures I take of people are mostly spontaneous, so the portrait world has always been one of mystery and admiration. I imagine how much effort goes into taking a good image with the different styles of lighting, the different poses, costumes, and backgrounds. I suppose most of this is personal preference and tailored to the end use, but the lighting has always caught my attention. There are so many styles of lighting, each with their own name and purpose, but it's the catchlights that I notice most and have even gone as far as to add them on an image of mine. Catchlights tell a lot about the lighting style, and therefore about the photographer, but I wonder too if they can also tell us about the model?

I also learned a lot in the short time it took to read this, and that's always valuable! Thank you again for starting this off! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Alumnus
Mentoris Alumnus
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Steven G Webb » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:03 pm

I'd like to know who is responsible for the "look" and thus the lighting. I'm sure Mr Trump would like to appear imposing and larger than life; however, I can''t imagine his wanting to appear sinister. So I wonder if he was oversold a bill of goods or (like so many times in similar situations) the trust was misplaced in delivering a certain message either in someone intentionally taking this to a new level or someone trying hard who failed.

In all fairness Annie Leibovitz made President Obama's family portrait and many thought the technical skill set missed the mark and there was at least one lengthy discussion about it on a couple of photography forums.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:09 pm

I would also like to know more about the backstory of the photo shoot and find it hard not to add my personal beliefs to the discussion. I guess it's a little like looking at the famous pictures of Churchill or Hitler and depending on what side of the war you were on separating yourself from those feelings.

If I were to try to dissect this without any backstory I would suppose the photographer to be amateurish, lazy, or in a rush. Amateurish as in something I might take without any real knowledge, or gear, of the studio environment. I don’t know Shealah Craighead's work but can't imagine working as a White House Photographer and not having the gear. Lazy as in I really don't care, but again 'White House Photographer' which leaves being in a rush, most likely imposed by the model.

If you know the Churchill portrait story you know what a good photographer can do, but having said that I suspect the last. The lighting is flat with singular catchlights for what I assume are the overhead lights. You can see the top-down lighting in the shadows under the cheeks and brows but I’m curious about the catchlight being so low and wonder if it’s from a reflector or something else.

Again, and again though my gut asks, was this taken with any studio equipment at all or as a spur of the moment image taken with a cell phone?

This has been fun and a learning experience. I hope others with more knowledge can join in and educate us even more! S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:28 pm

Steven G Webb wrote:I'd like to know who is responsible for the "look" and thus the lighting. I'm sure Mr Trump would like to appear imposing and larger than life; however, I can''t imagine his wanting to appear sinister. So I wonder if he was oversold a bill of goods or (like so many times in similar situations) the trust was misplaced in delivering a certain message either in someone intentionally taking this to a new level or someone trying hard who failed.

In all fairness Annie Leibovitz made President Obama's family portrait and many thought the technical skill set missed the mark and there was at least one lengthy discussion about it on a couple of photography forums.

Shealah Craighead is credited with his photo and named a White House Photographer.

Personally, I think Annie Leibovitz is overrated in the same way I feel about Andy Warhol, but I'm uncouth that way.
And, I thought Pete Souza's official rendition of President Obama was well taken and reflected his personality.

Portraits of Presidents of the United States
The White House Historical Association Presidential Portraits
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Alumnus
Mentoris Alumnus
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Steven G Webb » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:25 am

St3v3M wrote:Shealah Craighead is credited with his photo and named a White House Photographer.

Personally, I think Annie Leibovitz is overrated in the same way I feel about Andy Warhol, but I'm uncouth that way.
And, I thought Pete Souza's official rendition of President Obama was well taken and reflected his personality.

Portraits of Presidents of the United States
The White House Historical Association Presidential Portraits


But is the photographer responsible for the look? In a commercial product shot the photographer is not the artistic talent, that's the job of the art director. So who picked out the look. Was the result a grand success or a grand failure? I can't imagine Mr Trump wanting to look the way he's portrayed in this image.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:28 am

Steven G Webb wrote:But is the photographer responsible for the look? In a commercial product shot the photographer is not the artistic talent, that's the job of the art director. So who picked out the look. Was the result a grand success or a grand failure? I can't imagine Mr Trump wanting to look the way he's portrayed in this image.

I have an opinion on this but think it best to leave it to those who have more experience. Anyone? S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

User avatar
Steven G Webb
Mentoris Alumnus
Mentoris Alumnus
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:12 am
Location: Saluda, SC
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: No, please do not edit my images
Contact:

Post by Steven G Webb » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:07 am

St3v3M wrote:
Steven G Webb wrote:But is the photographer responsible for the look? In a commercial product shot the photographer is not the artistic talent, that's the job of the art director. So who picked out the look. Was the result a grand success or a grand failure? I can't imagine Mr Trump wanting to look the way he's portrayed in this image.

I have an opinion on this but think it best to leave it to those who have more experience. Anyone? S-


Kick the can down the road. The options are limitless as is the hilarity factor.
If you've never failed you've never tried.
Holly Ridge Photography
Facebook

User avatar
St3v3M
Key Founding Member
Key Founding Member
Posts: 4469
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:02 am
Location: 35,000 feet
Social Media Opt-In: Yes
Editing option: Yes, feel free to edit my image
Contact:

Post by St3v3M » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:15 am

Steven G Webb wrote:Kick the can down the road. The options are limitless as is the hilarity factor.

I like you, did I ever mention that? My thought is if this were your portrait and you didn't like it would you let it out in the wild? S-
"Take photographs, leave footprints, steal hearts"

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests