Wednesday, February 28, 2007

What Makes a Great Portrait?

I don't know.


sewer replacement line teardrop

red white and blue mummer in front of meglios furs web.jpg

purple face paint web


camden woman pink shirt web.jpg

146-victoria scar print4x6.jpg


205 camden teardrop .jpg


Anonymous said...

The obvious answer to that question is the more bizarre looking the subject the better the portrait.

ZS said...

I completely disagree.

Anonymous said...

I surely can't answer that question satisfactorly, but for me looking at these captures, part of it is in the eyes - a way of engaging... I don't know... I'm sure that's not much help

Anonymous said...

I actually like #1 as well- the guy with the red hat and the cigarette.

ZS said...

But I agree with you Will! I just can't help but wonder what that intangible connection is...when there are portraits with a direct gaze there is an ethereal and undefinable connection with great portraits, while others inexplicably fall flat, even though they have the same components.

ben said...

i think great portraits are born out of a visual conversation. the bottom group of folks look caught in a conversation. the space between is warm - there is a relationship there. it's up to us, as viewers to determine what that relationship is.

the two guys with the painted faces look less engaged. they don't seem empty, just uninterested. this isn't necessarily a bad thing, and maybe not even noticeable if they weren't up against the other images that are so incredibly strong.

the bottom group of photos show an obvious mutual affinity that is rare.

Anonymous said...

I love these. What makes a portrait great? If its all wrong in all the right ways, evidently.

Martin said...

i think maybe context helps... little background bonuses. the first and third have nothing, and the middle has no charm... the four good portraits all have something else happening other than the portrait alone.