Portrait - Artist research
Corinna Kern - Mama Africa
Corinna Kern, a photojournalist, spent 6 weeks in 2014 documenting the lives of transgender people in South Africa.
People of colour are more likely to get discrimiated against as being transgender has a strong social stigma attatched to it and the lives of people in the LGBT community are challenging and sometimes dangerous but these people living in the area are able to express who they are. Kern's photostory has an empowering feel to it which quite a lot of photostorys exploring the topic have a dark and dingy feel to them.
I like the lighting in all three of these images as its not too harsh. 
In the second image you can see the catch lights in her eyes. The light has created a deep shadow on the right hand side and highlights especially on her nose and lips which define her face. A wide angle lens has been used because her arm looks distorted and out of proportion with the rest of her body.
Corinna Kern / Getty Images Reportage. Wearing hair removal cream around her mouth, transgender woman Tulie Naomi Vili, 23, gossips with her cousin, showing her photos on her phone in Magenigeni Village, Tshabo, Berlin, South Africa.
Corinna Kern / Getty Images Reportage. Transgender woman Lazola Canzibe, 24, lies on her bed wearing traditional Xhosa clothing on the 27th of August, 2014. Taken in Kwelera, East London, South Africa.
Corinna Kern / Getty Images Reportage. Wearing her high heels, transgender woman Tulie Naomi Vili, 23, has her lunch sitting on the kitchen counter after a traditional ceremony in which the tombstones of recently deceased family members are unveiled. Taken on the 11th of October, 2014 in Magenigeni Village, Tshabo, Berlin, South Africa. Magenigeni Village is a rural area where Tulie grew up.
Irving Penn
"Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is one they would like to show the world. ...Very often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe." —Irving Penn, 1975.
Irving Penn, whose work has been published in Vogue, was an American photographer known for his portraits and fashion photography.
Penn was know for his use of grey and white backdrops to create simple backgrounds which not many photographers did at the time.
This image has been composed with great attention to where the shadows and highlighs are falling. His pose has also been carefully constructed. The awkward pose might reflect him as a person. By placing his hands like that he has caught the reflection of the window in his glasses. 
The large light source which is coming from the left and above from the window has left slight shadows under his nose, chin and under his eyebrows but the light which should be to the left on the background has been blocked leaving it darker than the right side.
Alec Soth
 
USA. New Orleans, Louisiana. 2002. Crystal, transgender princess. Easter Sunday. Sleeping by the Mississippi.
 
"Sleeping by the Mississippi"

This image is taken from Alec Soth's first book, "Sleeping by the Mississippi", which was published by steidl in 2004. Soth uses a large format 8x10 camera with colour film and captures landcapes, interiors and people in their everyday settings to create these documentary style images.
I was inspired by this image because by just looking at the person on the bed, who looks quite eccentric with the clothes he's wearing and the princess bed sheets, you start to question what they're doing and want to know more of the story. 
The colours in this image really work well together and the neatness of the room creates quite a minimilistic but stricking picture. When looking at this image it seems as though theres a sense of calmness and its as if the photographer and person sitting on the bed are comfortable with eachother because of his relaxed face and posture.
It looks as though some flash has been used in this picture, possibly by bouncing it off the wall because theres no natural light coming through the window on the left since its (possibly) dark outside.
 
When i go to shoot for my project i will keep this picture in mind. Although i cant control the look of the room i'll be in i'll be able to have the person sat on the bed and i'll try get their posessions in with where theyre sitting so you can get a sense of their personality like you can with this image.
 
 
Peter van Agtmael
USA. New Orleans. 2012. A patron of Club Fusions, a Gay/Bi/Transgender night club in the Seventh Ward.
Peter van Agtmael, a free lance photographer, is most known for his work where he has focused his photography on documenting the Iraq and Afganistan war and the effect its had on America. He is represented by Magnum and has twice won awards from The World Press Photo. He has published two books and his photo stories have been featured in Time, The New York Times, Rolling Stone etc.
In this image of person in a LGBT nightclub Agtmael has used the coloured club lights coming from what looks to be above and from the left to light his subject up. It looks af if its slightly to the left because we can see the green light coming across the wall and moving onto her body and face. We can see a shadow under the nose, under his lips and a big shadow on the wall next to his chin which have been created because of the tilt of their face. We can see its coming from above because the left hand side of this persons face is in soft shadow. The green light has been cast against the wall and the persons movement creates an energetic feeling.
I like this composition because Agtmael has isolated his subject in the middle of the frame with just the plain wood as the background.
Alex Majoli
FRANCE. Paris. 18th arrondissement. 2000.
I like this photograph because it shows the subject doesnt have to be the center of the focus for it to be a portrait. I feel like this wig is representing the person in the background and you can get a feel of what the person is like and what they do just by looking at the wig.
I cant tell if flash has been used in this picture because you can see a light reflecting on the wall to the right but it looks as if it might just be a wall light. Fill in flash may have been used and bounced off the ceiling or another wall in the room. But you can see the main light source is coming from the right because its lighting up the whole of the wall and you can see the highights of it in the wig and the shadows its making to the side.
British Journal of Photography - Rudoi Vladimirovich
 
"The Russian photographer Rudoi Vladimirovich won first prize in the Faces category with a portrait of a teenage girl named Stella-Maria. It’s a classicist picture, taken in a photography studio, with the *chiaroscuro lighting actively designed to evoke the Golden Hollywood era."
 
*Chiaroscuro creates a bold contrast between light and dark which affects the whole composition
This is my recreation of Rudoi Vladimirovich's image. When i recreated this image i was working off a print out which had made the whole image darker than it origionally was so i've made mine in the view of that.
I used a 50mm lens which was slightly wide angle. The studio light i used to recreate the photo was a medium sized soft box which was slightly angled down and raised up above her head. It was positioned slightly infront but to the left of her so the light was shining onto the left side of her face. The light wasnt too close but wasnt too far away as you can tell by looking at the catch light in her eyes. To make this image more like the origional photo i should have used a larger light source or moved the light source closer to reduce the amount of shadow under the lips and around the right side of her face.
Another thing i should have changed in this image was the f-number. I should have used a wide aperture to reduce the depth of field and draw attention to her face and reduce attention to the body. By doing this it would isolate her face and make it the main focus point which would create a more sticking picture.
In photoshop i have changed the image into black and white, increased the brightness slightly and used the dodge tool around her iris to make her eyes stand out like the models.
Lastly to make the photo more like the origional i should have made Katy turn her body to the side and look towards the camera which would have improved on the overal look.
Lighting Diagram for recreation shot
Group Shot
This is one of my group shots. There are positives and negatives to this image such as everyone has a good even amount of light which has been distributed well which leaves everyones face and body correctly exposed.
The problem with the lighting set up here is that you can see the catch light from the flash in Devons glasses. To avoid this i should have tried moving the lights to different hights and positions to get the perfect shot.
Another way to improve this image would be to have the people sitting and standing so there would be a range of heights which form a traingle.
In terms of placing this on a page it could either go as a supporting picture or i could be spread across the left side of the page and a small section of the right page with the gutter going in between Devon and Katy.
This is the second of my group shots.
Because i used a wide angle lens, everyones legs have been elongated and Alex's hand on the left looks extremely out of proportion. I could have used a higher shutter speed to completely freeze their legs and arms but their faces seem to be absolutely fine.
To improve on this shot i should have had my focus to the sky since its mostly cloudy it looks quite blown out and over exposed. But apart from that everything else in the background is correctly exposed including the tree in the far right.
The flash has worked well in the image because its completely seperated them from the background to make them look like theyre actually jumping out the picture.
In terms of placing this on a page I think it could almost make a double page spread with the gutter of the page going in between Katy and Devon.
This is my third group shot which is a second atempt at the photo before. 
I wanted to darken it slightly to get a better exposure on the sky so i set the f number to 8 and increased the shutter speed.
I think the sky has been correctly exposed and their faces have been exposed correctly but because theyre wearing dark clothing it makes the image look slightly darker.
Again, i like this image because the flash has pulled/seperated them from the background which makes it look as if theyre about to jump out the picture.
In terms of placing this on a page it could either go as a supporting picture or i could be spread across the right side of the page and a small section of the left page with the gutter going in between Alex and Katy.
 
 
Lighting Diagram
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