Dawoud Bey did portrait of high school students in their schools. His characterization in portrait style is framework and hand poses to focus. Every picture of students is eye contact with camara. He used students personal life to portray their personality. act image he is trying to different emotions of students through facial expressions and blurring the background image. He uses soft light on the face to have real environment. There is a lot going on in the background of each image as in student’s lives but to have focus the background is blurred. Th hands of each portrait work perfectly in order achieve the story of the portrait. I do like his work of portrait it’s amazing to tell a story of students.
After viewing Dawound Bey high school photographs, I have observed several key characteristics that made his work unique. One of these characteristics is using face expressions to give the viewer a sense that the subjects emotions. One portrait in particular is the one that shows a Muslim man named with aggressive facial expressions. His muscles surrounding his eyes are tense in a “V” shape. This is then reinforced with a very manly “cross of the arms” with a clench of his fist. This emotion is backup with the subjects thoughts with follows ; “I know that I shouldn’t but sometimes I wonder how other people look at me. What do they see first? My brown-ness, my beard, my cap, my clothes, the color of my eyes, the design of my T-shirt? I think that people see my skin color first. They probably see me as a brown guy. Then, they might see my black beard and my white kufi (prayer cap) and figure out I am Muslim. They see my most earthly qualities first. Brown, that’s the very color of the earth, the mud from which God created us. Sometimes I wonder what color my soul is. I hope that it’s the color of heaven…”Omar.The subject is clearly expression his mind of what society thinks of him, rather than knowing him on a personal level. This ties back into his aggressive demeanor. In today’s shoot, I would perform a series of images that would play with this central idea of emotion. I would try to answer: “What makes a photograph powerful?”, “How does body language affect the overall photograph ?”, ” How can I show not one emotion, rather multiple emotions?”, ” Does my lighting affect how an emotion is expressed and perceived?”. Today, I would push to answer my question and see if I can create an emotional masterpiece.
In a short response to this work (300 words min), characterize his portrait style. How does he use expression, pose, framing, light, and foreground background relationships to create these sympathetic portraits of young people? What ideas did you get about how you might approach today’s in-class shoot from looking at this work?
Dawoud Bey is an American photographer who takes portraits to students. He uses lots of technique that makes the photographs appealing. He uses expressions, poses, framing, light, out of focus background, relationship of foreground and background, and the use of soft colors. For each student, Dawoud Bey uses a different expression to get the attention of the viewers. Bey combine the expression with the pose to make the photo unique, and reads as one composition. Framing is also very important in his photography; he makes the subject look straight at your eyes. Most of the time, he uses the rules of thirds; placing the main subject on the side, not in the center of the photograph. Light is also another technique that Bey uses. He makes the light reflect as natural light. Also he uses busy background but you cant tell is busy because of the out of focus.
In today’s class I might ask the person how you feel today, and depending on their feelings, I asked him/her to pose in a certain way. Definitely I will use Dawoud Bey techniques to enhanced my photography.
The portrait project by Dawoud Bey entitled Class Pictures uses visual elements, such as framing, artificial light, and depth of field to create compelling compositions. The challenge that Dawoud experienced during this project include the random selection of both the model and the room, composing interesting poses, and light.
While working with the subjects Bey allows the subject to take as much time as they need to get comfortable before starting the shoot. He uses this time to figure out what colors that are on the subject work well from the environment.
The success of the shot is greatly increased when he uses shallow depths of field to bring focus on the subject. In addition to this he also works with the environment to bring the elements in to add to the shot instead helping to create harmony. When posing the subject Bey creates leading expressions to help provide emotion. By having a model have a clenched fist over an open palm gave vastly different emotions.
For emotion of lighting is added in way they gives the impression of natural lighting. This is a more forgiving intensity of light.
Dawoud Bey uses serious expressions in his photographs of the high school students. They all have eye contact, his photographs of the students is based on their personal lives on their stories and who they are or what they have been through. the lighting of his photos are focused on the face not harsh but just right for this series. The background is out of focus and which makes the students in the foreground more in focus. Like you can see their stories in their eyes there face is serious but their eyes is talking. The ideas that I got were not a lot but some ideas were the person would be siting on the floor and looking at the camera with a serious face, or sitting on a chair with eye contact but with a smirk on their face.
After looking at some of Dawoud Bey’s portrait photographs in his classroom project I realized that photography doesn’t need to be super complex to be considered beautiful. It seems like his photographs are captivating to many individuals. The subjects in these photos are all posing differently but simple. The photos have great lighting despite the disadvantage he has in the classroom, they’re clear, and the aperture is just enough on each. He talks about how he takes these photos at a fast pace because of the environment he is taking them in. He has about 45 minutes before the class comes in. I find this to be very interesting as well as talented. He is able to take high quality photos with so much pressure involved. He mentioned that he feels his experience to make this happen comes from taking street photography. I think to be able to take great photos in a short amount of time is a good skill to have.
Dawoud Bey’s photographs of the high school students immediately evoked an emotion in me. This is because they reminded me of my high school days and all the individuals I grew up with. Bey uses a lot of direct lighting on the subjects face to bring attention to the most important. Bey purposely positions their hands in different positions that will emphasize the emotion that is trying to be portrayed. For example, Omar describes the feeling of judgement and his defensive state is shown when Bey photographs him with closed fist and crossed arms. He also conveys it by using the facial emotions which is also evident in Omar who’s has a frowning face like in disapproval. Overall, the hand gesture must compliment the face in order to tell the story. Another detail he pays attention to is the background. Even though he fades out the background in order to tune out the noise and place the subject I’m focus, he is very thoughtful in the background environment. For example, Shalanta is photographed in a very vibrant background which I feel matches her personality which is colorful and full of life. You can also see this vibrancy of color in her clothes, nails and hair. It was also very educational to hear how his thought process allowed him to captivate these students in the amount of time that he was giving. He quickly had to analyze the student and figure out how and where to place them. Overall, I greatly enjoyed seeing his work.
In Dawoud Bay’s series Class Pictures, high school students are captured in a natural essence to evoke sympathy in the viewer. He does this by isolating his subject in the frame. In many cases, he does this by using a shallow depth of field and using studio lights to subtly highlight them. The composition of his photos vary from student to student, but in all cases, the students occupy a majority of the frame, which further establishes them as the focal point. The overall mood of the portraits is a calm and sympathetic one. Dawoud Bey captures the student’s emotion in their posture and facial expressions. This allows the viewer to more easily relate to the subject. Dawoud also excels at creating calmness in the photo despite the calamity that might be taking place in the background. Even without the supporting copy, the students’ posture, outfit, expression give the viewer an idea of what the student may be feeling/thinking.
For today’s shoot, I would take inspiration from the above techniques he used, making sure to capture the subtle nuances that portray my subject’s mood and personality. In addition, I would also be mindful of the environment around my subject and how that might influence the mood I’m capturing. Most importantly I would be mindful of making sure that the photo seems natural and not stiff, staged or rigid.
Dawoud Bey’s portrait style can be categorized as Environmental Portrait photography. Dawoud Bey uses natural lighting than is in the area of the image being taken. Instead of using forced lighting he adjusts to the specific person he is shooting. Ultimately the image that Dawoud is trying to convey is each person’s life story. The emotion in their eyes tells a person what they have been through and what they are trying to accomplish in their life. Some stories are more harder than others but at the end of the day everyone is trying to do better no matter the struggle they had. In my photoshoot, I will try to convey the same theory of making it in life and using the correct facial expressions and gestures to get an amazing picture that tells a story.
The way that children look straight forward to the camera makes the expression more realistic on the picture. He took medium shots and the way he blurred the background, bring forward the person. He did a very good job on framing, because nothing becomes lost on the picture and the make the viewer to focus in the middle. I see that he is really successful to control and manipulate light correctly in order to get the best texture, and the vibrancy of color.