Inspiration 1 Dawoud Bey

Dawoud Bey high school portraits have this consist theme of having the object looking at the camera. Not only that but Dawoud does make us look at the eyes first then the whole picture. His pictures are center so our eyes don’t wander around. We can also see that his portraits display some type of attitude because the way the subjects are posed. So this give us a little of the subject personality of each person. The lighting also what makes this portraits to make the face to pop out more. The usage of shadow in the face aren’t too dark. But soft so none of the photos are focusing in one location by having one area much darker than the other.Also the blurry background. Makes us the auditions to look at the person makes focus on them more than any other place in the photo. But, Bey isn’t making the whole background to be blurry so none it can’t make out what it is. Instead, he want us to know what it is without losing focus on the person. It makes us understand who these people are, and what they do. It gives us a little story to go by. And makes understand who they are as people without having to tell us anything. I also noticed by looking through gallery class portraits, that none of his picture the subject have warm colors. But one is different, which is Shalanta but this photo is different from other is because the background is much darker but her clothes have this light color that is able to make her stand out more. Which something interesting he changed the lighting because the color of clothes have a light color. In the other portraits you can see the other subjects having grey or light colors.

One thought on “Inspiration 1 Dawoud Bey

  1. rmichals

    As you point out, Bey uses shallow depth of field so that the background is not distracting but there is still enough detail that we, the viewers know where the subject is and this adds a lot to each photo.

    I agree that Bey also uses tone to set the subject apart from the background. the background of the photo of Shalanta is quite dark. this is true for the photo of Kevin as well and even the one of Lauren.

    When you are taking a portrait, think about how the tones of the foreground and the background can help you make a more dynamic picture.


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