Selective Focus: Portrait

Aaron Reichow

Aaron Reichow, untitled

I thought this week’s theme would be simple, though it did raise some discussion as to what exactly constitutes a portrait. My belief is that a portrait is anything which somehow conveys a being or beings- even non-sentient ones; though sentience itself is a contestable construct (doesn’t our region’s Spirit Tree seem capable of feeling, and perception?). I will leave any thoughts more esoteric than that to you, and the comments section below.

While the month is too soon upon us, the word February derives from a Latin term meaning “to cleanse,” therefore next week’s theme will be “clean.” Send your unwatermarked, signature-less images by Wednesday at 11:59 p.m to tim @ perfectduluthday.com — 1000px at their largest dimension — along with title (if any), and URL of your website, Facebook page, Tumblr, Flickr stream, or Instagram.

Eric Ament

Eric Ament, untitled

Tim White

Tim White, untitled

Kip Praslowicz

Kip Praslowicz, untitled

Frank Sander

Frank Sander, “My Partner Patricia Canelake”

Frank Sander

Frank Sander, “Farmer, Naxi Minority, Yunnan Province, China”

Frank Sander

Frank Sander, “My Mother Lisa”

Brian Hart

Brian Hart, untitled

Paul McIntyre

Paul McIntyre, untitled

Paul Lundgren

Paul Lundgren, “Pigface”

Brian Barber

Brian Barber, “Yellowstone”

Guy Sander

Guy Sander, untitled

Guy Sander

Guy Sander, untitled

4 Comments

rev

about 4 years ago

Yeah, you'd think that "portrait" would be straight forward. "Portrait" is a laden in a way that other genres of photography really aren't, at least in my mind. It may be the idea that a portrait should communicate an essence or distillation of the being or thing - unlike a landscape, it's hard to objectively say that "yes, this contains the essence of so-and-so." 

I'm curious about Brian Hart's image - wondering if Brian would have anything to share about it?

madscientist5580

about 4 years ago

@REV, It seems Brian Hart needed another dimension for his portrait--multiple 2D images rendered into 3D space and displayed in 2D!

rev

about 4 years ago

@MADSCIENTIST5580 It certainly looks like something like that is going on, but I was curious about the method and the meaning behind it.

Tim White

about 4 years ago

I don't think that "essence" is a very helpful, or even an attainable construct when qualifying a portrait. Whether an image is expressive is a more productive criteria. What matters to me are the limitless ways "artists" see the people, objects, and phenomena surrounding them, and what they choose to privilege by stating (visually in this case) that this or that is a matter that merits their attention, and ideally yours.  Re: Brian Hart, he's pushing the boundaries of this medium further than anyone I know; not with parlor tricks like HDR, infra-red, collodion plate, or other pictorialistic urges to make our medium more "artistic." He has an expansive, Tesla-like imagination that insistently wonders "what if?" It's not my journey, but I'm grateful for his.

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