Portrait assignment

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Here in this assignment the brief is to experiment with the genere of portrait photography. In this I find myself both excited and overwhelmed with ideas. There is so much good photography in this area, from the masters of the past such as Dorethea Lang to the more contemporary photographers such as Richard Avedon. The work by Sebastian Sagrado of the man in the oilfield in Iraq at the end of the war sitting against a tyre of a large truck covered in oil from head to foot shows a facial expression that is sublime. In this instant the photographer captures what I believe to be one of those expressions that expresses the soul of the man. I aspire to create photography such as this.

In putting together my first few exercises from the portrait assignment of the OCA foundations in photography course, I see that I have a lot to learn. Largely the remit is one to experiment. This is encouraging however it still leaves me with the question of how to develop skills in this area. Something creative as opposed to new for the sake of newness! This is no easy task. It is easy to be judgmental of one´s own process of creativity even before getting going with the process. As a genre of photography strangely enough I find myself more in my element with portraiture than anything else. I have applied my photography skills to most genres of photography over the years, however, this area is one that captivates me the most. The human form is endlessly fascinating. It has so many intriguing features and secrets. The face is one of those things that can provoke in the depths of one´s own experience either delight or mistrust. It gives rise to an immediate emotional response in us, within seconds, detailing exactly how we feel about that person in relation to ourselves. Something potent is transmitted (wether we are aware or not)  through the human face.

I therefore endeavour to produce something that helps my own understanding of the genre of portrait photography, even if the standards to which I might aspire are not as yet reached.

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