Category Archives: Inspiration

Inspiration #3

Gregory Heisler is a very interesting photographer. Looking through his gallery was very eye catchy. He has different styles of taking pictures. One that really caught my attention was this portrait above. What I love about this picture is the use of color is so vibrant and rich in color. I like how the color flow very well. I also like the use of expression and hand gestures he’s doing, it adds this seriousness in the picture. i also like the use of framing and light. I noticed how the light is hitting the right side of his head. I also like how there is so shadow of the left side of his face.

Gregory Heisler


A man of many words, with silence it self a loudness is heard. His photographs capture stunning thoughts, stunning personalities, stunning ideas. My personal favorite was this photo. This image is so .. different from the others, the key light is right in front of him. The stunning blue as if underwater meets that of his eyes, such a beautiful hue. This photograph shows me strong yet full of thought, perhaps a lurking mind yet agile. What brings this picture to be all the more stunning is the dark background, it allows more light to be centered to the persons face, to establish that it’s the main piece of importance. This photo is nicely made, call it a true piece of art if you agree with me. I love that the colors match with his facial expression and that the highlights and shadows add on to this bold gloom. On this photo, upon looking closer I notice rembrendt, on the left cheek I see a triangle. Also looking at the photograph over i see a bit of insanity something isn’t right, I think this is from the fact that his eyeballs are somewhat brighter than what it usually is, it’s like a bleached white, really bright. The way he lights up the face makes it seem like a disturbed man a disturbed mindset.

Insperation #3 – Gregory Heisler



While looking through Gregory Heisler’s website, out of the photos, this one caught my eye the most. I found it very vivid, it stands out a lot. When it comes to the lighting to the portrait it gives it a dramatic look to it as the light seems to be hitting him in the middle area of his face and body. You can see the furthest parts of the body have a bit more shadow than in the middle, again giving it that dramatic look and giving the face some more attention. Photo is very low contrast and I think it works well with it in color. Also, we get to see his upper body and the position he is in. It shows of someone who is important. This man could possibly a world leader from a country in Africa or a scholar of sorts. The position of his hand is also very interesting because it placed around his chest area. Another thing that makes him stand out is the fact the background is entirely black. It’s just him and nothing else. It makes him look very distinguished, like an “all eyes on me” sort of appearance. I also like the addition of the red hat, I think it brings the photo together and is not very distracting at all.

Inspiration #2

I liked more Yousef Karsh more than Nadav kandar. Do not get wrong Nadav Kandar has some good work. What I like about Yousef Karsh work is the use of black and white, mostly all of his work is in black and white but he really knows how to use the lights very well. He also knows where he wants the light to focus on the person because you could see the highlights. One of my favorite portraits from his is “Elizabeth Taylor”, what I like about this portrait is that this was taken as short light style. I really like how the light is hitting one side of her face. I also like how the light is hitting the side of her hair.

On the other hand, Nadav Kandar work is also black and white. But he uses black and white differently than Karsh because it also has a little bit of color to it. The use of black and white on his portraits look very unrealistic which is cool. At some point, it looks like if it’s a painting canvas. I also noticed that almost all of his portraits have this shallow of depth and shadow. What caught my attention was that there is this shadow background in all of his portraits. I also like the use of mood, expressions and poses in his portraits. One of my favorite portrait from him is “Mike Tyson”, I like the use of light. On this portrait, it looks like he’s using butterfly light. I also like the use of shadow in the background which makes Mike Tyson and the white pigeon stand out. I also like the use of the expression that Mike Tyson gives. We all know that Mike Tyson is a tough guy but the way he is posing looking sideways and a little bit of seriousness don’t make him look scary. It shows the other side of him and I think to have him hold a pigeon on his hand also helps because he has this obsession with pigeons.

Insperation #2 -Yousef Karsh & Nadav Kandar

Rami Malek

Rami Malek, 2016

The photographs that Nadav Kandar has taken are really interesting. Most of his images are really artistic and conceptual. For example, in his National Portrait Gallery, majority of the people are simply floating in the air. But when it comes to the last four of the that gallery, are more serious close up portraits. They are black and white with 3/4 view giving us short light but with fills. In his Solitary Portraits Gallery it is mix of photos, ranging from conceptual, artistic. black and white, to split light, broad light, color and short light. Again, a lot of his photos has fills in them. A lot of his photos tend to be on the dramatic side but they’re some that are silly. The photo that drew me in the most was one with Rami Malek, while it’s somewhat hard to tell, for me. I think the photo has short light, you can tell because the side of the ear is darker with areas of more darker shade/shadows. It would seem that this photograph has a lot of fill on it. Perhaps I can emulate the way he uses fills in his photography in an upcoming portrait assignment. A lot of his photos are very fill heavy. And if possible I would also like to try out conceptual portraits because some of his photos in that category are really captivating.

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Jr, 1962

When it comes to Yousuf Karsh, it is mainly portraits of famous figures. The gallery includes Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr., Andy Warhol, Pope John Paul II, and many others. His photos have a mix of portrait lighting styles. In his gallery you can see some short light portraits, front light portraits, possibly butterfly light, and some split light. I’m not 100 percent sure on this but I do believe he is using fill in some of his photos. Another characteristic that I noticed in Karsh’s photos is that all of them are in black and white. No color in sight. Another characteristic is how the portraits convey a range of emotion, from delightful smiles, playfulness, to idealistic stares, and serious faces. The photo that grabbed my attention the most is Martin Luther King Jr., I like this portraits with the way he is somewhat starry-eyed, looking away from the camera. You can see his face is at 3/4 view giving off a short light portrait style. What I can try and emulate from Yousuf Karsh, I could try and bring the emotional range that he has in his photos.



Ok! For me, I like Yousef Karsh picture and style more then Nadav Kandar but both of them are super amazing at photography and has so many amazing pictures. First Yousef Karsef who is an Armenian-Canadian photographer known for his portraits of notable individuals. He has been described as one of the greatest portrait photographers of the 20th century. For me, he inspires me to take more portrait, especially in black and white. I am not fun of black and white picture because to me when I see the black and white picture I always having the same feeling of the photo which is “sad”. I feel like that not right to me because photo should make us feel and tell more than that. When I look at Karsh portrait it’s all black and white which is cool because that is his style and theme also, every picture of his has different feel and story behind it and that amazing how he is making the viewer feel it. Also, most of his picture he used studio light like broad and short lighting.

Nadav Kander likes to try all kind of style not just one like Karsh. So Kandar is a London-based photographer, artist and director, known for his portraiture and landscapes. Kander has produced several books. He has so many styles and looks more modern. I like his work on Titans of the Stage because every picture has a strong visual and amazing story behind it also really powerful

I like this picture because when looking at it from far you see a guy who is in a really bad mood and lost hop and looking in the praying for god. But when you come close to it you will see him look at you with a really scary way. It’s amazing one minute I feel bad for then right when I see close it's scared me. Also, the lighting style helps the mood a lot

Yousef Karsh & Nadav Kandar

Yousef Karsh has amazing photography skills. His photographs remind me of film noir, it brings me into a peak of interest. From his photographs I noticed that his point of interest does not fall just on people but on objects as well. In his photo archives seen on this link I can say that when it comes to close ups of people he liked to use broad and short lighting. For his landscape images he tries to keep somewhat a balance between light and shadows he wants contrast. An interesting photo he’s taken was ” Elixr ” which is a photograph based on optic and surrealism in which appears to be a bottle and in it, an image of three women, a beautiful concept in which is somewhat exquisite. In another example, Mr. Karsh had taken a photograph of Princess Juliana, it seems to be a family portrait. In this photo you can see a key light and a back light, Im not sure if there was a third light due to the fact that, if you look closely you can see light on the princesses’ hair.

Nadav Kander on the other hand appears to have one point of interest, faces. He grasps the character of the person, he grasps their true identity or perhaps a hidden one. In a fine example shown here Kandar takes a photo of the honorable Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. He captures his image in fine black and white tone, his face sided looking into the distance to grasp the presidents identity of thoughtful and busy, concentrated yet agile. In another example we have Erin after Caravaggio, 2004. A stunning image of a young lady looking down at her reflection, a picture can say 1000 words and it can tell a story. This image shows her beauty but when you look into the water .. you see something different, you see a distorted face in the water, you see sorrows, perhaps this photo is trying to bring out her inner self? or perhaps her mentality? flawless yet flawed. Mr. Kander’s photos were grasped in both color and in black and white. He captures a persons image gracefully and even horrifically in others to show perhaps a demented or distorted mindset.

Dawoud Bey – Antone Herbert

Dawoud Bey’s portrait style comprises multiple elements. In most of his photos he frames his subject with their lower torso up. Bey never cuts off their heads, leaving a decent amount of headspace. The background is blurred indicating the use of a low aperture. This leaves the subject to stand out well from the background and become the main focus or the photo. The backgrounds are all different. All the students eyes are captivating. Bey’s subjects are always well lit with what I would think is front or butterfly artificial lighting. I interpret that all the students seem guarded in there photos. Their arms and hands suggest as they are in front and always seems to be “protecting” themselves from the photographer. Most of the students did not smile except for one girl. 

Im not sure how I would approach portrait photography after looking at his photos. But these set of photos inspired me because they are the type of style I strive to create when I’m doing portraits. They evoke emotion and realism. You feel like you’ve met the students and I want my photos to feel that way. Often times I worry too much about backgrounds and not enough about my subject. Bey uses a variety of backgrounds in schools, a place I imagine most people wouldn’t find all that photogenic. I want to learn to pose people like Bey can. I want to learn how to create a unified style throughout multiple portraits that evoke the same emotions. Bey’s photos teaches me that subjects you wouldn’t find interesting you can make interesting by crafting masterful portraits.

Inspiration #1 – Dawoud Bey

Bey uses the expression and pose to show what these high schoolers have been through. For example, in the photograph with Shalanta, you see this girl who’s smiling and posing with a confidant look. It demonstrates that she is an outgoing girl who enjoys having fun and being around other people, which reaffirmed in the brief description next to the image. Another out example would be with Kevin, the pose he has give a sense of “up in your face” kind of look, possibly showing independence. The tone of his expression has a very serious look to it, giving off maturity, independence, and a loss of innocence. The lighting he uses is available light, which comes from the windows. The natural window light really lights up the room just enough and nicely, giving the feel of a somewhat calming vibe to photographs. From what I can tell, it looks like all if not all his shots seem to be broad light, like the portraits of Usha and Antoine. The background of the photos are set in a classroom area, I believe that this is meant to make the teens appear more sympathetic because it would remind the viewer that these are still young teenagers, hardly grown but have been through a lot or show how ambitious they are. It’s to basically remind people that these teens are still human beings, and not some self-entitled children who believe they deserve something. The way he frames the portraits is up close, you can see the expressions of the teens, the gestures and poses their upper bodies are in, and parts of the background. To me the reason why he frames it like this is because you get in depth look at the teenagers, to interpret their personalities, what they could have been through, and where they were during the shoot. Well lighting is something to consider, that can enhance the look and feel of the portrait. As well as the poses and expression of the model. I can take those into consideration when taking a portrait shot of someone.

Dawoud Bey HW1

Dawoud Bey is a very interesting photographer in my opinion. The reason being is that, in photography or in video we are told that the person of interest shouldn’t look directly to the camera nor should be faced directly. Mr. Bey has a certain photography style, he has his target look directly to the camera, a bold move. His person of interest in the photos I’ve seen was children, teens. I believe he did this to grasp their image, their individuality, An example of this can be seen in the link provided, Lauren ..  a young and sweet girl is what I grasp of this image, shes timid and she has the whole world in front of her. Another fine example is Charles, he’s a stunning young man with eyes that speak for them self, from this face photographed, I get a sense of boldness and a sense that this young man isn’t afraid to speak his mind. These were my first thoughts as I skimmed through their photographs, then after I made evaluations I read through the small descriptions provided and leaned that the photo matched the description perfectly. Mr. Bey has a way with the camera in that one can find another persons individual characteristics through his photos.