Essay, Visual Arts and Film Studies “Portraiture and Identity”

Project description
Identity”

Choose two examples of portraiture. You can look online. Both portraits must be photographs. Some artists you might be interested in researching are Diane Arbus, Annie Liebowitz, Jacob Riis, and Richard Avedon.

Your response must be 600 to 750 words in length. Write in complete, grammatically correct sentences. Choose two portraits to describe and compare. The portraits that you choose to compare must be photographs. This does not mean photographs of paintings. The works must be photographic portraits: not landscapes, not interiors, not urban landscapes, but photographic portraits of people.

Paragraph 1: Define portraiture. Define Identity. Identify the two pieces you will be comparing by title, medium (b/w, c-print, ink jet, daguerreotype), year, and measurements.

Paragraph 2: Describe in detail the first photograph. Write your description as though to a person who is not looking at the photograph that you are writing about. I should be able to build a perfect visual image in my head of the photograph you are describing without seeing the photograph first. Do not assume I know anything about this photo. The more precisely you are able to describe what you are looking at, the better.

Paragraph 3: Describe in detail the second photograph.

Paragraph 4: Compare three formal elements and/or principles of design in the chosen images. For example you can compare:

The light–What is the source of light, natural or artificial. Is the light in the portrait very intense or very minimal. Is the portrait overall dark or light. What kind of mood does that choice of light produce, light and happy or heavy and ominous? What kind of contrast do we have in the work, high key or low key? Does the choice of contrast create more lyrical or more dynamic image?

How close are we to the model? Is the image a radical zoom in, can we see very intimate details on the face or are we seeing the model from a distance? What kind of atmosphere does that create? Is the model aware of the camera, is the model gazing at us? What kind of gaze is it? How does it make you feel as a viewer? Are you drawn into the image or are you feeling uncomfortable and want to look away?

Is the image black and white or in color? If in color, what kind of color scheme is used? How does the use of black and white or color create a sense of mood? What kind of mood?

Paragraph 5: Conclusion. Final thoughts.

Upload the two images that you are writing about together with your paper. Images should not be larger than 500KB each. Be sure to refer to the syllabus for proper formatting and titling of your written document and your images.

TIPS: Possible questions to ask yourself depending on the piece of art you are looking at:
Was the subject of the image unaware of the camera?
Based on your own experience, how might this photograph differ from ones for which the subjects were consciously posing?
How does the behavior of the photographer change when he or she is taking a clandestine photograph?
How does the relationship between the photographer and subject change?
Is the photo in color, or black and white? How might the palette affect the “feel” of the photograph?
What is the scale/measurements?
Does the scale have any impact on how you feel about the image? If you are dwarfed by an enormous piece, you might have a different response than if you were looking at something tiny that could be held in your hand or carried away.
What can we tell about the person? How? By his or her age, clothing, social status?
Describe the lighting. Is it coming from a natural source (sunlight), or being manipulated to add content to the photo? How does the lighting situation add content to the photograph?
Consider how the way someone looks: his or her dress, facial expression, body language, and skin color, for example may or may not reflect his or her identity.

Note: Do not use images that are included in the chapter on photography in the book.
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Added on 08.11.2015 17:58
Written Assignment “Portraiture and Identity”

Choose two examples of portraiture. You can look online. Both portraits must be photographs. Some artists you might be interested in researching are Diane Arbus, Annie Liebowitz, Jacob Riis, and Richard Avedon.

Your response must be 600 to 750 words in length. Write in complete, grammatically correct sentences. Choose two portraits to describe and compare. The portraits that you choose to compare must be photographs. This does not mean photographs of paintings. The works must be photographic portraits: not landscapes, not interiors, not urban landscapes, but photographic portraits of people.

Paragraph 1: Define portraiture. Define Identity. Identify the two pieces you will be comparing by title, medium (b/w, c-print, ink jet, daguerreotype), year, and measurements.

Paragraph 2: Describe in detail the first photograph. Write your description as though to a person who is not looking at the photograph that you are writing about. I should be able to build a perfect visual image in my head of the photograph you are describing without seeing the photograph first. Do not assume I know anything about this photo. The more precisely you are able to describe what you are looking at, the better.

Paragraph 3: Describe in detail the second photograph.

Paragraph 4: Compare three formal elements and/or principles of design in the chosen images. For example you can compare:

The light–What is the source of light, natural or artificial. Is the light in the portrait very intense or very minimal. Is the portrait overall dark or light. What kind of mood does that choice of light produce, light and happy or heavy and ominous? What kind of contrast do we have in the work, high key or low key? Does the choice of contrast create more lyrical or more dynamic image?

How close are we to the model? Is the image a radical zoom in, can we see very intimate details on the face or are we seeing the model from a distance? What kind of atmosphere does that create? Is the model aware of the camera, is the model gazing at us? What kind of gaze is it? How does it make you feel as a viewer? Are you drawn into the image or are you feeling uncomfortable and want to look away?

Is the image black and white or in color? If in color, what kind of color scheme is used? How does the use of black and white or color create a sense of mood? What kind of mood?

Paragraph 5: Conclusion. Final thoughts.

Upload the two images that you are writing about together with your paper. Images should not be larger than 500KB each. Be sure to refer to the syllabus for proper formatting and titling of your written document and your images.

TIPS: Possible questions to ask yourself depending on the piece of art you are looking at:
Was the subject of the image unaware of the camera?
Based on your own experience, how might this photograph differ from ones for which the subjects were consciously posing?
How does the behavior of the photographer change when he or she is taking a clandestine photograph?
How does the relationship between the photographer and subject change?
Is the photo in color, or black and white? How might the palette affect the “feel” of the photograph?
What is the scale/measurements?
Does the scale have any impact on how you feel about the image? If you are dwarfed by an enormous piece, you might have a different response than if you were looking at something tiny that could be held in your hand or carried away.
What can we tell about the person? How? By his or her age, clothing, social status?
Describe the lighting. Is it coming from a natural source (sunlight), or being manipulated to add content to the photo? How does the lighting situation add content to the photograph?
Consider how the way someone looks: his or her dress, facial expression, body language, and skin color, for example may or may not reflect his or her identity.

Note: Do not use images that are included in the chapter on photography in the book.

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