A painting of me

Advanced Figurative Photography: Part 2

   16 October 2009, early morning

I attended my second Figurative Photography class yesterday. This class was focused on portraiture. The first hour or so was spent on a brief overview of portraiture from the last 100 years or so, looking at some important or interesting figures. Some names I recognized, like Yousuf Karsh or Richard Avedon. Others were new to me, like Mike Disfarmer. We looked at all sorts of photographs, from Karen Finley covered in chocolate to Anne Noggle’s self portraits. My favourite shot of the night was a photograph of Arthur Miller by Bresson.

The class set up for portraiture

The rest of the class was spent taking portraits. The class was split in two, with each group working independently. We each took turns modelling for the other members in our group. One person was supposed to be in charge lighting and direction, with this role alternating as we cycled through models. In practice I felt we were all cool with deciding what to do together. This was the first time I had taken photos so formally, using tungsten lights and other junk to light a subject. I regret not trying this stuff out sooner. You have so much control over the image when you can control all the lighting. I was shooting with my Rebel, and with my Leica. You can see some photos from the night on Flickr.

In the next class we are supposed to review each others work, and then begin a look at nude photography. The following week we photograph nudes.



  1. Just curious, did it ever cross your mind that you might be asked to model nude too lol. Sounds like a great class. Can’t wait to see some shots.

  2. Nah, can’t say that it did. I have some photos from that night up on Flickr now.

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