Workbook 3 Task

Names:___Carol Shearman____                     Group___________________

Brief: As discussed in class, a successful editorial portrait requires a strong idea and an understanding of the audiences’ social/cultural background and political views.

Working in pairs, choose two editorial portraits that you think successfully exploit their audience’s shared social/cultural experiences  – or political views – to create meaning and open debate.

Image 1

environment1

Images sourced at

http :// www. flickr.com/photos/mohain/817979654/

Photographer Guy Boden.  More of his work can be seen at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mohain/

Consider:

What do you think the photographer wants us to feel about their subject.

Looking at this portrait, I feel that Boden wants us to believe that his subject, while creative, is also a business person, someone who makes a living doing something they love.  His use of monochrome creates a timeless feel, giving me the feeling that this man has been involved in this industry for many years

Who do you think is the audience for the portrait? Consider their age, education, social/cultural background and political views.

I believe that the audience for this portrait would be experienced (and consequently post 30) artistic professionals, well educated in the use of technology, but partly self taught, they would have an artistic and creative background, again, perhaps self taught, although I feel that they would be more likely to have professional qualifications in their field from this image, as it shows an organisational level that would come with discipline and that implies teaching.

I don’t believe that there is a political statement in this portrait, it is purely about the subject in their creative/working environment.  However, having said that, it could certainly be used in a publication where political support of the arts was an issue, particularly if the subject had any affiliations with lobby groups or government funded arts organisations.

What techniques has the photographer used to engage the viewer?

Consider the editorial context, location, lighting, posing, framing etc.

There are several techniques obvious in this portrait, the use of heavy vignetting at the bottom of the image draws the eye to the lighter spaces, where the viewer engages almost immediately with the subjects eyes.

The slight distortion from the wide angle lens bring the focus onto the subject, while a deep depth of field makes the background still identifiable, thereby creating interest from  viewers who would understand the technology involved.

The styling placement of an electric guitar in the right background, where it would certainly not reside during a normal working day reinforces the creativity of the subject, while the acoustic hung on the wall gives the impression that the subject prefers to use technology over basic tools.

The relaxed pose of the subject is at odds with being surrounded by what is a working environment, although his placement surrounded by his equipment implies that we have caught him just taking a breather while his mind works with the next idea.

Although a window is visible to the left, it is obvious that the subject and the rest of the room have had artificial light introduced, with the placement of the subject taking advantage of the ambient light to create a traditional portrait lighting setup and give a relaxed ‘at home’ feel.

Image 2

editorial2

Image sourced at

http://briansmith.com/leaf-user/brian-smith-leaf-user-2/

Photographer Brian Smith.  More of his work can be seen at

http://briansmith.com/photography/

What do you think the photographer wants us to feel about their subject.

The bright, high contrast of this image makes me feel that the subject (Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin) is a very dynamic personality, someone who lives life to the full and who gets what he sets out to.

Who do you think is the audience for the portrait? Consider their age, education, social/cultural background and political views.

Even without the context of the magazine article underneath (the only version of this portrait that I could find :/), I feel that the image is styled to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers, from those that avidly follow ‘celebrity’ news,  through to business people that would be not only in competition with him, but hoping to align themselves with him and investors in the company that the subject owns.  They would be aware of the subject’s enterprises, even without the props, as an airline /aerospace entrepeneur, adventurer and philanthropist through other media sources, and would be drawn into the article, hoping to read about his latest exploits, directions for his companies and perhaps even investment opportunities.

Politically, I believe that this would appeal to people who support private enterprise over government regulation, to those who are quite capitalist in nature, but also want a human touch to their news and current affairs.

What techniques has the photographer used to engage the viewer?

Consider the editorial context, location, lighting, posing, framing etc.

By using an outdoor location for this image, the photographer has reinforced that the subject is a person who doesn’t live in the boardroom, despite being the founder of a multinational business.  The background of the sky and clouds reinforces the knowledge that the sky is where his business started.  It also reinforces the idea of dynamic leadership and adventure.

Having a hill (perhaps a mountain??) in the background also give the impression that the subject has risen to the top of his chosen field, he’s ‘king of the hill’ in layman’s terms.  It implies that he has done the hard yards to get where he is, and is not a flash in the pan, but rather has drive and purpose.

Posing the subject looking up and out of the frame, while not a traditional portrait pose, gives the impression that the subject is always looking to the future, for new opportunities and for new ways to move his company forward.  This is re-inforced by his outfit, which refers to his company’s venture to be the first commercial space airline (correct term?), and the steps that they are taking to achieve that goal.

The lighting is quite warm, the subject faces into the light, looking towards a brighter (and by implication, better) thing yet to come.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s