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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> definition of Portrait
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05/18/2006 09:10:50 AM · #1
class act ... much respect

Originally posted by sherpet:

I personally wish to say sorry, to anyone I offended last night, with my comment in this thread.

First of all, I just want to apologise for my recent thread, regarding the latest challenge re "enviromental portrait".

I think I spoke much to hasty, and also I was very tired. I really do want to say sorry, if I upset you in anyway. I acted to quickly to the origional thread without thinking. I was wrong, as it was something I didn't think through.

I do hope you will accept this, in the way it is meant.

Thank you for your time.

I have personally sent personal messages to those I may have offended.

many thanks for your time.....
05/18/2006 09:05:21 AM · #2
If I had joined DPC to obtain my masters in photography i might follow every chalange to the letter. But I didnt! I joined DPC for fun, encourgement and to rekindle my love for photography. I can understand some of the politics that go on in these threads and i believe that there are many very talented photographers (pros and amatures)who use this site for nothing more than forum to get their shots out to the masses and for the masses to admire their talents. But i can't understand why if i submit a close cropped shot of my kids dirty hands playing in the sand needs to be discected to bits because its not "this" or not "that" so DNMC?

My shot was MY interpitation of the challenge. Was it a portrait? maybe not, Was it within its environment? you can take a photo of a nurse on a beach but this would not be relevant to the environment. Was it portrait or landscape? who cares!! Kids get dirty, kids play in dirt (its the enviroment!) you can tell that the hands are a childs hands so do i need to show the face for it to be deemed a portrait? if people dont like what you've shot, let them express that with their vote but they SHOULD not pick it to pieces because it does not fall in to "their" definition of the challenge.

I enjoy photography for the emotion it can bring (in the images not in comments)
Thats my thoughts. What are yours?
05/15/2006 11:36:54 PM · #3
I think some people are too carried away with the whole challenge definition thing :p
05/15/2006 11:32:48 PM · #4
I personally wish to say sorry, to anyone I offended last night, with my comment in this thread.

First of all, I just want to apologise for my recent thread, regarding the latest challenge re "enviromental portrait".

I think I spoke much to hasty, and also I was very tired. I really do want to say sorry, if I upset you in anyway. I acted to quickly to the origional thread without thinking. I was wrong, as it was something I didn't think through.

I do hope you will accept this, in the way it is meant.

Thank you for your time.

I have personally sent personal messages to those I may have offended.

many thanks for your time.....

05/15/2006 06:06:13 PM · #5
Originally posted by Alecia:

these type of threads make me feel like i'm in the twilight zone! this whole thread is about the **environmental** portrait challenge right? hard to tell based on the title.

on saturday i went to my roommate's graduation from boston university's photography program headed by cary wolinsky (national geographic). (i feel like he probably knows what he is doing.) anyway, covering the walls were examples of the student's work...and one of these modules was environmental portraits. which were...surprise...mainly photographs of people captured in their environment, representing what they did. such as a gas station attendant pumping gas or a nurse standing by a row of beds in a hospital. some of the "environmental portraits" included the subject looking at the camera, some did not. many were in landscape format so as to include (the very important first word of this topic) the environment.

if this were strictly a portrait challenge, i *might* be able to understand all this (maybe)...but considering that this challenge, at least, is environmental portrait, i'm not sure why the narrow definition of 'portrait' was called in to being so strictly to begin with.

i dont understand why people try and restrict creativity (i mean, orientation?? seriously.) or at the very least rip apart the very definitions of these challenges? is this going to happen with self-portrait too? i dont get it. sigh.


OH yes, it will happen with self portrait, and every other challenge you ever see hit the challenge area. LOL....At least it has been that way since I signed on last year. I've been guilty of it myself in the past. Trying to break apart every nuance of a word or saying in the description in order to appeal to the masses. I've given up on that illusion. What I do now is read the title of the challenge, read the description, and just go with my own ideas in what I love to enter and do it. I let the chips fall. Since I have been doing that I have found my entries in the 6+ range for scores, but even better than that, I have found more self gratification and even my own style. Before that I was always in the tanker and never satisfied. I almost even ended my membership. So I find it best to just go with your first instincts, and they should be YOUR instincts and not those of others. My best advice to everyone is to just enter what you feel is best, have it be your idea, and your baby! :)

Espy
05/15/2006 03:46:51 PM · #6
Originally posted by Di:

Originally posted by doctornick:

Originally posted by arnit:

Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'll second that!


I'll 3rd that!


I'll 4th that!!


I'll 5th that!

(I just wanted to play too!)

Message edited by author 2006-05-15 15:47:47.
05/15/2006 03:40:53 PM · #7
these type of threads make me feel like i'm in the twilight zone! this whole thread is about the **environmental** portrait challenge right? hard to tell based on the title.

on saturday i went to my roommate's graduation from boston university's photography program headed by cary wolinsky (national geographic). (i feel like he probably knows what he is doing.) anyway, covering the walls were examples of the student's work...and one of these modules was environmental portraits. which were...surprise...mainly photographs of people captured in their environment, representing what they did. such as a gas station attendant pumping gas or a nurse standing by a row of beds in a hospital. some of the "environmental portraits" included the subject looking at the camera, some did not. many were in landscape format so as to include (the very important first word of this topic) the environment.

if this were strictly a portrait challenge, i *might* be able to understand all this (maybe)...but considering that this challenge, at least, is environmental portrait, i'm not sure why the narrow definition of 'portrait' was called in to being so strictly to begin with.

i dont understand why people try and restrict creativity (i mean, orientation?? seriously.) or at the very least rip apart the very definitions of these challenges? is this going to happen with self-portrait too? i dont get it. sigh.
05/15/2006 11:29:49 AM · #8
Well this may be my first ribbon. THE BROWN ONE!!!!
05/15/2006 11:17:15 AM · #9
Originally posted by doctornick:

Originally posted by arnit:

Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'll second that!


I'll 3rd that!


I'll 4th that!!
05/15/2006 11:08:24 AM · #10
Originally posted by Photonurd:

Sheesh! If everyone lived by definitions in the dictionary, we wouldn't get very far would we. Try looking up the word PROGRESS or perhaps OPEN-MINDED. Of course, roots and foundation are important to establish a definite genre or arena for evaluation, but from a voter's point of view, if you're not creating a unique image, you won't get higher than a 6 around here, IMO. The way i see it, a good portrait is as unique as the subject within. Maybe its just me, but I haven't found any formulas for capturing someone's or something's essence. But that's my definitioin, pretty subjective.


I myself don't bother looking in the dictionary for something as simply put as environmental portrait. I read it. To me it immediately said "a person in a specific environment". That simple.

However, believe it or not..LOL..many are asking "just was is a portrait" and just what is an "environment"? Therefore, they need to look it up.

Some tend to want to look it up over and over and in different and obscure places just to see if their idea for a shot can somehow be explained away by some obscure definition of the word, and that to me is truly amazing.

Take HEAT for example. I bet there will be some that are hell bent on bending that word to mean something other than what it literally means. Now there are a million variations to heat - sweat, sun, fire, etc. But someone, somewhere, will ask "can heat mean _____ ?", and that is where it really gets tiresome.

What I personally do is just read the description. I don't tear it apart word for word. That is like overstudying for a term paper to the point of being too prepared, which usually ends you up with an anxious headache that takes away from your actual concentration come test time. Just simply read it, get an idea, and then expand on your idea. To heck with what the masses will be looking for, and asking won't help you. NO ONE ever knows what that truly is as to mass appeal! LOL...The idea is to have fun, try and be creative, and try to learn about your style, your camera functions, and your creativity level within each challenge - IMO.
05/15/2006 10:59:49 AM · #11
Originally posted by arnit:

Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'll second that!


I'll 3rd that!
05/15/2006 10:57:54 AM · #12
A portrait of a person or an animal is getting my votes.
Weither he or it looks at the camera or away from it, it does not matter. Better if I see the persons face but not neccessary.
Weither the environment is in the background or in the foreground it does not matter.

I can not, although good pictures, vote more than 1. for those who take pictures of ships, airplanes, cars etc.

05/15/2006 10:47:51 AM · #13
Sheesh! If everyone lived by definitions in the dictionary, we wouldn't get very far would we. Try looking up the word PROGRESS or perhaps OPEN-MINDED. Of course, roots and foundation are important to establish a definite genre or arena for evaluation, but from a voter's point of view, if you're not creating a unique image, you won't get higher than a 6 around here, IMO. The way i see it, a good portrait is as unique as the subject within. Maybe its just me, but I haven't found any formulas for capturing someone's or something's essence. But that's my definitioin, pretty subjective.
05/15/2006 10:42:35 AM · #14
Seems to me that this is the same old argument about how closely to interpret the challenge topic's demands. And, as always, the voters will have the last word.

While I would not rule out an animal, a square or landscape orientation shot, or one that does not use background and/or foreground to show the "environmental" aspect of your entry, I would say that this is perhaps not the best challenge to show off the extremes of your creativity and imagination. To me, the essence of portraiture is to show what the subject looks like to viewers who have not seen it.
05/15/2006 10:40:38 AM · #15
Then I will have to dump them more to offset nit-pickers nit-pickers!
Originally posted by vtruan:

So answer this. What do you call a photo of a face of a cat or dog. Or even a cow or bird. I'd say portrait, but maybe my dictionary isn't correct. I think I'll vote all non-human shots up a bit to off-set nit-pickers. Pounce, pounce, :)


Edited:spelling error

Message edited by author 2006-05-15 10:41:05.
05/15/2006 09:43:55 AM · #16
Originally posted by idnic:

Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'm with you!


Artyste and I agree on very little, but this time I definately have his back!

This IS ridiculous.

A portrait: "A likeness of a person"
An Environment: "Surroundings" or "totality of one's surroundings"

When all else fails, SIMPLY use a regular "dictionary", either in hand or online! I just LOVE it when others find 600 different venues for definitions of one word just to make it fit their entry. Just ridiculous.

Now, for this challenge, using an animal or plant "IS" ok, in my book, because of the way the wording is used in the description, specifically the word ("subject"), which now takes away from just the person aspect; however, even the originator of the contest (American_Horse) said that he "meant" it to be for persons, BUT, even he wouldn't be opposed to animal or plant life if it still meets theme as to representation.

On the other hand, I myself went with "likeness of a person". That likeness and environment can be extreme, as in created with a character using a specific venue for the environment; or just a shot of someone on a couch - for two examples. Either one makes it in theme, but to me, the more creative the entry the more kudos from me. Unless some shot is really off the hook otherwise, it is more appealing for me to see that others went above and beyond for a shot.

Message edited by author 2006-05-15 09:45:22.
05/15/2006 09:01:35 AM · #17
this was a good thread, I for one am going to re-validate my thinking and up some marks on portraits of animals.
05/15/2006 08:58:38 AM · #18
Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'm with you!
05/15/2006 08:48:13 AM · #19
Unless they are wearing sandals and natural fabrics they will not get a good score from me ; )
05/15/2006 08:28:26 AM · #20
Originally posted by Pedro:



1. Is it a pictorial representation of a person (i'll even throw pet in there because i'm not an anal retentive)? Then it's a portrait.

2. Do you get some sense of their environment through their clothes or the setting? Then it's an environmental portrait.

Can we please get the hell over ourselves for at least one challenge and vote on the photograph for a change?


This is exactly how I interpretted this challenge and how I am voting on this challenge. I am still very new to photography let alone proper terminology. I would have to believe that others have wildly different opinions as to what meets the challenge since it is showing in my score. (Wait - maybe my pic just flat out sucks. But my mom loved it.)
05/15/2006 08:22:26 AM · #21
Originally posted by Artyste:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.

I'll second that!

come on guys! no one can know everything. thats why i was ASKING if my opinion was in error. not like i cant go change votes seeing i was being short sighted. no need to call others ignorant.

text
05/15/2006 08:19:05 AM · #22
Originally posted by Artyste:

This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.


I'll second that!
05/15/2006 08:17:58 AM · #23
Main Entry: por·trait
Pronunciation: 'pOr-tr&t, 'por-, -"trAt
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle French, from past participle of portraire
1 : PICTURE; especially : a pictorial representation (as a painting) of a person usually showing the face

I don't see anything about the orientation of the portrait mentioned in the definition. Nor do I see anything about environment or eye contact or what freaking colour the subject is supposed to wear.

Ask yourself two things:

1. Is it a pictorial representation of a person (i'll even throw pet in there because i'm not an anal retentive)? Then it's a portrait.

2. Do you get some sense of their environment through their clothes or the setting? Then it's an environmental portrait.

Can we please get the hell over ourselves for at least one challenge and vote on the photograph for a change?
05/15/2006 08:15:03 AM · #24
Mine doesn't look into the camera..it was set up that way.

Originally posted by jaded_youth:

i think portrait subjects "should" be looking at the camera. im no expert though but shots that seemed like candids did get a lower score from me than the same shot would have gotten if the subject had been posing. however low scorers didnt make a difference. a bad photo is a bad photo. i rarely score below 4 anyhow.
05/15/2006 08:14:18 AM · #25
This entire thread just makes me want to run screaming for the hills.

I can't *BELIEVE* the ignorance of so many of you! ARRRRGGHHH!!

There's no hope.
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