The Power of the Portrait

When it comes to photography, it’s much easier in my opinion to take photos of inanimate things such as monuments, flowers, or snowy landscapes. These things aren’t going anywhere, they’re not posing for you, and you usually have all the time in the world to get the shot that you’re looking for.

Photographing people on the other hand, is a completely different game. There are so many elements that have to fall in line for a good portrait to happen. Does the person want their photo taken? Are they photogenic? Is the lighting right? Are they posed right? Do you know how to pose them or do they know how to pose themselves? Are they worth photographing in the first place?

In this case, digital_don has answered all of these questions and come up with a winner. The composition, exposure, and depth of field are dead on in this portrait that tells a story by itself. You can tell just by looking at this guy that he’s lead an interesting life, and the photographer went the extra mile to interview his subject, confirming just this (be sure to read the notes below the photo). His use of black & white here really gives the details some added “pop”, from the weathered face and hands to the dirt under his fingernails (it doesn’t look like the smoking ban has affected this guy). Many of these details can be overlooked in color.

If you like what you see, be sure to check out digital_don’s Street Portraits photo set for some other wonderful shots. In a city like DC, these opportunities are waiting for all of those who are tired of photographing marble buildings and reflecting pools.

1 Comment so far

  1. Brock (unregistered) on January 8th, 2007 @ 9:01 am

    Flickr user stoneth does a similar portraits almost exclusively, and always includes a quick bio on the person in the shot.



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