The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Category: Photography Tips

Making Portraits – Choices



I’m inspired by the comparison portraits above from today’s NPR article, “For Modern Poets,  a “Likeness” Could Evolve”  (based on the current show at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.)

Same person, different perspectives.

Here’s Langston Hughes as a bellhop (with much soul), and as a professional, business-like writer. These images were both made in the same year.

Marianne Moore is young, romantically lighted. Almost 20 years later we have a different experience of  her life in her clear, I-see-you gaze, posed in front of elephants.

A thought provoking reminder to those of us who take portraits –
How do you “see” (experience/feel/understand) the person?
What do you consciously include in the image?
Are you evoking your preferred expressions, or do you allow the subject’s natural expression to come through?

And if you’re the one looking  –
“Who” are you being encouraged to see?
What qualities are there – and what may be left out?

Interesting in the article: insights re the dynamics of artists and their agents deciding what persona to be presented to the world, more examples of portraits that have changed dramatically  as the person evolves (see Allen Ginsberg), featured poets reading their work…

(Camila Domonoske and Angela Evanciei,  “For Modern Poets,  a “Likeness” Could Evolve,” on the new exhibit, “Poetic Likeness: Modern American Poets (see wonderful website) in the National Portrait Gallery,Washington, D.C.)

Interactive Art Installation Encourages Writing in Library Books

“German artist Christian Moeller creates a giant cloud made of 12,000 blank notebooks waiting to be filled.”

I love this idea!

It  honors the traditional art of books, paper, writing
invites us to get away from our computers and come to the public library
encourages everyone to express their thoughts/images/creativity
gives us an easy way to read/see/absorb the perspectives  of others
and keeps the entire dialogue and creative energy going.

I’m working with collaborative book ideas…

My thoughts inspired further from comments by Daniel Milnor at his SFUAD presentation on making books…

Now this…hmmm…more to come…

Failure as Friend – by Dan Milnor

This latest blog post, “Failure as Friend,” by Daniel Milnor, photographer  is wonderful. It’s so freeing for someone to share the blips in the road, be able to laugh about them, and to express so beautifully the understanding that our lives are not about perfectionism – and our “failures” are  all part of living life passionately and participating fully in the creative process.

I’m going to see Dan tonight at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where he’ll be talking about publishing Blurb books. I’ve been looking forward to his talk – looks like I’ll have a double bonus today after such a fine article.

Thanks, Dan!

“Failure as Friend,” Dan Milnor, SMOGRANCH blog

Black & White vs Color – Joel Meyerowitz thoughts

This is always an interesting question – to use color or black and white in a photograph?

What are we trying to describe and which does it best?

Check out the recent article and images in the New York Times Lens blog, where they revisit an essay, “A Question of Color” written by Joel Meyerowitz (included in his newest (wonderful, I’m lusting for it) publication “Joel Meyerowitz: Taking My Time.”)

Joel demonstrates his thoughts with 6 images that are in both color and black and white, so you can see/feel/tell your own story of which impacts you more and how.

The image captions are interesting – overall Joel prefers these in color, although originally when they were shot, a few he preferred in black and white.

I’m with him for most, the color definitely telling more of a story to me and the details having more impact – but the last one (#6) I prefer in black and white, and possibly #5 also.

And you?

A Question of Color – Answered

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