Interesting articles about Portrait photography

A collection of articles about portraits, portraiture, photography.  The use of portrait photography by charities for fund raising.  The importance and techniques of portraits in facial surgery.  What are the photographic proportions of a face that are considered attractive

The interest in the use of portraits in the form of the ‘Selfie’.  The selfie is the personal portrait taken on snap digital cameras and smart phones typically to share amongst friends or self-promotion on social media.


Dölen, U.C., Çınar, S.
Perfect Lighting for Facial Photography in Aesthetic Surgery: Ring Light
(2016) Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 40 (2), pp. 319-326.
ABSTRACT: Introduction: Photography is indispensable for plastic surgery. On-camera flashes can result in bleached out detail and colour. This is why most of the plastic surgery clinics prefer studio lighting similar to professional photographers’. In this article, we want to share a simple alternative to studio lighting that does not need extra space: Ring light. Methods: We took five different photographs of the same person with five different camera and lighting settings: Smartphone and ring light; point and shoot camera and on-camera flash; point and shoot camera and studio lighting; digital single-lens reflex (DLSR) camera and studio lighting; DSLR and ring light. Then, those photographs were assessed objectively with an online survey of five questions answered by three distinct populations: plastic surgeons (n: 28), professional portrait photographers (n: 24) and patients (n: 22) who had facial aesthetic procedures. Results: Compared to the on-camera flash, studio lighting better showed the wrinkles of the subject. The ring light facilitated the perception of the wrinkles by providing homogenous soft light in a circular shape rather than bursting flashes. The combination of a DSLR camera and ring light gave the oldest looking subject according to 64 % of responders. The DSLR camera and the studio lighting demonstrated the youngest looking subject according to 70 % of the responders. The majority of the responders (78 %) chose the combination of DSLR camera and ring light that exhibited the wrinkles the most. Conclusions: We suggest using a ring light to obtain well-lit photographs without loss of detail, with any type of cameras. However, smartphones must be avoided if standard pictures are desired. Level of Evidence IV: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Zarzycka, M.
Save the child: Photographed faces and affective transactions in NGO child sponsoring programs
(2016) European Journal of Women’s Studies, 23 (1), pp. 28-42.
ABSTRACT: The face of a child in need is a visual trope that is at the forefront of the politics of spectacle in emergency news and aid initiatives. Images of children’s faces work on both affective and ethical levels, appealing to compassion and to a discourse of universal human rights. Acknowledging both the cultural fascination with and distrust of images of children, this article focuses on the strategies of persuasion used by an international NGO Save the Children in their child sponsoring campaign. Identifying the ways that both NGO guidelines and strategies shape the way the image is composed and framed, and engaging with the concepts of ‘sponsoring,’ ‘saving,’ and ‘parenting,’ the article follows how the campaign configures financial help as an affective, rather than economic, relationship between the donor and the beneficiary. © The Author(s) 2015.

Třebický, V., Fialová, J., Kleisner, K., Havlíček, J.
Focal length affects depicted shape and perception of facial images
(2016) PLoS ONE, 11 (2), art. no. e0149313, .
ABSTRACT: Static photographs are currently the most often employed stimuli in research on social perception. The method of photograph acquisition might affect the depicted subject’s facial appearance and thus also the impression of such stimuli. An important factor influencing the resulting photograph is focal length, as different focal lengths produce various levels of image distortion. Here we tested whether different focal lengths (50, 85, 105 mm) affect depicted shape and perception of female and male faces.We collected three portrait photographs of 45 (22 females, 23 males) participants under standardized conditions and camera setting varying only in the focal length. Subsequently, the three photographs from each individual were shown on screen in a randomized order using a 3-alternative forced-choice paradigm. The images were judged for attractiveness, dominance, and femininity/masculinity by 369 raters (193 females, 176 males). Facial width-to-height ratio (fWHR) was measured from each photograph and overall facial shape was analysed employing geometric morphometric methods (GMM). Our results showed that photographs taken with 50 mm focal length were rated as significantly less feminine/masculine, attractive, and dominant compared to the images taken with longer focal lengths. Further, shorter focal lengths produced faces with smaller fWHR. Subsequent GMM revealed focal length significantly affected overall facial shape of the photographed subjects. Thus methodology of photograph acquisition, focal length in this case, can significantly affect results of studies using photographic stimuli perhaps due to different levels of perspective distortion that influence shapes and proportions of morphological traits. © 2016 Saloojee et al.

Del Mar Ramírez Alvarado, M.
Disturbing gazes: The works of photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in the framework of communication history and gender studies [Las miradas turbadoras: La obra de la fotógrafa Julia Margaret Cameron en el marco de la Historia de la Comunicación y de los Estudios de Género]
(2016) Observatorio, 10 (1), pp. 181-200.
ABSTRACT: This article has a double objective. On the one hand, it is contextualized under the gender studies that attempt to reclaim female figures whose contributions to different fields of knowledge have been forgotten or minimized because of the predominant idea of geniality as a male feature. On the other hand, it aims to deepen on the History of Communication in order to rescue the contributions of British photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879). The methodology is based on the analysis of direct sources such as the photographs taken by this author, the analysis of her autobiography The annals of my glass house, and the review of previous research on her work. Conclusions show that, despite the professional underestimation that she suffered, Cameron accomplished a very creative and artistic photographic work which, in some cases, was ahead of her time. Copyright © 2016 (María del Mar Ramírez Alvarado).

Redi, M., Rasiwasia, N., Aggarwal, G., Jaimes, A.
The beauty of capturing faces: Rating the quality of digital portraits
(2015) 2015 11th IEEE International Conference and Workshops on Automatic Face and Gesture Recognition, FG 2015, art. no. 7163086, .
ABSTRACT: Digital portrait photographs are everywhere, and while the number of face pictures keeps growing, not much work has been done to on automatic portrait beauty assessment. In this paper, we design a specific framework to automatically evaluate the beauty of digital portraits. To this end, we procure a large dataset of face images annotated not only with aesthetic scores but also with information about the traits of the subject portrayed. We design a set of visual features based on portrait photography literature, and extensively analyze their relation with portrait beauty, exposing interesting findings about what makes a portrait beautiful. We find that the beauty of a portrait is linked to its artistic value, and independent from age, race and gender of the subject. We also show that a classifier trained with our features to separate beautiful portraits from non-beautiful portraits outperforms generic aesthetic classifiers. © 2015 IEEE.

Zhang, X., Constable, M., Chan, K.L.
Exemplar-based portrait photograph enhancement as informed by portrait paintings
(2014) Computer Graphics Forum, 33 (8), pp. 38-51.
ABSTRACT: This paper proposes an approach to enhance the regional contrasts in snap-shot style portrait photographs by using pre-modern portrait paintings as aesthetic exemplars. The example portrait painting is selected based on a comparison of the existing contrast properties of the painting with those of the photograph. The contrast organization in the selected example painting is transferred to the photograph by mapping the inter- and intra-regional contrasts of the regions, such as the face and skin areas of the foreground figure, the non-face/skin part of the foreground and the background region. A piecewise non-linear transformation curve is used to achieve the contrast mapping. Finally, the transition boundary between regions is smoothed to achieve the final results. The experimental results and user study demonstrate that, by using this proposed approach, the visual appeal of the portrait photographs is effectively improved, and the face and the figure become more salient. © 2014 The Authors Computer Graphics Forum © 2014 The Eurographics Association and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Hayn-Leichsenring, G.U., Kloth, N., Schweinberger, S.R., Redies, C.
Adaptation effects to attractiveness of face photographs and art portraits are domain-specific
(2013) i-Perception, 4 (5), pp. 303-316.
ABSTRACT: We studied the neural coding of facial attractiveness by investigating effects of adaptation to attractive and unattractive human faces on the perceived attractiveness of veridical human face pictures (Experiment 1) and art portraits (Experiment 2). Experiment 1 revealed a clear pattern of contrastive after effects. Relative to a pre-adaptation baseline, the perceived attractiveness of faces was increased after adaptation to unattractive faces, and was decreased after adaptation to attractive faces. Experiment 2 revealed similar aftereffects when art portraits rather than face photographs were used as adaptors and test stimuli, suggesting that effects of adaptation to attractiveness are not restricted to facial photographs. Additionally, we found similar aftereffects in art portraits for beauty, another aesthetic feature that, unlike attractiveness, relates to the properties of the image (rather than to the face displayed). Importantly, Experiment 3 showed that aftereffects were abolished when adaptors were art portraits and face photographs were test stimuli. These results suggest that adaptation to facial attractiveness elicits aftereffects in the perception of subsequently presented faces, for both face photographs and art portraits, and that these effects do not cross image domains.

Pavlovic, I., Mikota, M., Skala, T.
Influence of the lighting and the ISO speed on the digitally shot black and white portrait photographs
(2008) Annals of DAAAM and Proceedings of the International DAAAM Symposium, pp. 1045-1046.
ABSTRACT: Gallery portrait art photographs because of its syntactic and semantic characteristics are often achieved in B&W technique. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the optimization of the digital shooting in the area of B&W portrait photography. In B&W shooting mode Munsell Color X-rite ColorChecker and face portraits were shot under the same condition ISO speeds 100/21, 400/27 and 3200/36 with flashlight, halogen, nitraphot and tungsten lighting were used. Reproduction curves and optical coverage for skin colours were defined and visual estimations, in conditions defined with standard ISO 9358, were done. Among tested lightings, flashlight gives the worst results while other give better providing more possibilities in light and shadow modulation. The evaluations of used ISO speeds show that digital photographic system enables using of the slightly higher speeds which enables working with the lighting of lower power but can be certain lack in photography syntaxes, as well.

Articles about the “Selfie”

Sorokowska, A., Oleszkiewicz, A., Frackowiak, T., Pisanski, K., Chmiel, A. , Sorokowski, P.
Selfies and personality: Who posts self-portrait photographs?
(2016) Personality and Individual Differences, 90, pp. 119-123.
ABSTRACT: Online social networking (OSN) sites play many roles ranging from communication to entertainment. The current paper presents an analysis of the recently emerged OSN phenomenon of the selfie (self-portrait photographs of oneself). In two studies involving a total of 1296 men and women, we tested the prediction that selfie-sharing on various OSN sites (including Facebook) is positively related to social exhibitionism, extraversion, and self-esteem. Participants reported sharing anywhere between 0 to 650 selfies per month on various OSN sites, and were found to post, on average, 2.9 selfies of themselves, 1.4 selfies with a romantic partner, and 2.2 group selfies to Facebook each month. Women posted more selfies of each type than did men. Regardless of sex, our results indicate that social exhibitionism and extraversion generally predicted the frequency of online selfie-posting in men and women, however we found no strong evidence for a relationship between self-esteem and selfie-posting behavior among women, and only weak evidence among men. The results of this work highlight key individual differences among OSN users that can account for some of the variation in online photo sharing behavior, and provide novel insight into the psychological factors driving this rapidly popularizing phenomenon. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Dinhopl, A., Gretzel, U.
Selfie-taking as touristic looking
(2016) Annals of Tourism Research, 57, pp. 126-139.
ABSTRACT: This paper reconceptualises the tourist gaze as facilitated by smart phones and social media, with a focus on selfies. It presents selfie-taking as a new way of touristic looking in which tourists become the objects of the self-directed tourist gaze. The paper suggests that the practice of selfie-taking in tourism is constituted by othering, stylized performing and producing/consuming visual culture of the self. Through these processes, tourists are able to ascribe the characteristics they otherwise associate with tourist sights onto themselves. Rather than fetishizing the extraordinary at the tourist destination, tourists seek to capture the extraordinary within themselves. Traditional tourist sights and attractions take on different relative importance. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd

Bruno, N. , Bertamini, M. , Protti, F.
Selfie and the city: A world-wide, large, and ecologically valid database reveals a two-pronged side bias in nai[[ampi]]die;ve self-portraits
(2015) PLoS ONE, 10 (4), art. no. e0124999, .
Università Suor Orsola Benincasa, Napoli, Italy
ABSTRACT: Self-portraits are more likely to show the artist’s right than left cheek. This phenomenon may have a psychobiological basis: Self-portraitists often copy their subject from mirrors and, if they prefer to present their left cheek (more expressive due to right-lateralization of emotions) to the mirror, this would result in a right-cheek bias in the painting. We tested this hypothesis using SelfieCity (3200 selfies posted on Instagram from December 4 through 12, 2013 from New York, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Moskow, and Bangkok), which includes two selfie-taking styles: a “standard” (photograph of selfie-taker) and a “mirror” (photograph of mirror reflection of selfie-taker) style. We show that the first style reveals a left cheek bias, whereas the second reveals a right cheek bias. Thus side biases observed in a world-wide, large, and ecologically valid database of naïve self-portraits provide strong support for a role of psychobiological factors in the artistic composition of self-portraits. © 2015 Bruno et al.

Iqani, M. , Schroeder, J.E.
#selfie: digital self-portraits as commodity form and consumption practice
(2015) Consumption Markets and Culture, pp. 1-11. Article in Press.
ABSTRACT: Although selfies may appear to be the latest fad, their popularity has had a transformational influence on contemporary culture. Selfies invoke important issues in communication, photography, psychology, self-expression, and digital media studies – as they bring up a host of concerns about identity, privacy, security, and surveillance. This article provides an interdisciplinary overview of the selfie as both an object and a practice, and offers theoretical reflections on how the selfie can be seen as an important commodity form and consumer behaviour. The selfie is connected to concepts of authenticity, consumption, and self-expression, as well as practices of art history, media forms, and self-portraiture. Strategic use of the selfie reveals shifts in the traditional functions of the advertising photograph, from sources of information, persuasion, and representation to emblems of social currency. We position the selfie not as a postmodern anomaly but as a type of image with a history. © 2015 Taylor & Francis

Tifentale, A., Manovich, L.
Selfiecity: Exploring photography and self-fashioning in social media
(2015) Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation and Design, pp. 109-122.
Book Chapter

Tifentale, A., Manovich, L.
Selfiecity: Exploring Photography and Self-Fashioning in Social Media
(2015) Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation And Design, pp. 109-122.
Book Chapter

Tiidenberg, K. , Gómez Cruz, E.
Selfies, Image and the Re-making of the Body
(2015) Body and Society, 21 (4), pp. 77-102.
ABSTRACT: This article explores the relationality between women’s bodies and selfies on NSFW (Not Safe For Work) tumblr blogs. We consider the way selfie practices engage with normative, ageist and sexist assumptions of the wider culture in order to understand how specific ways of looking become possible. Women’s experiences of their bodies change through interactions, sense of community and taking and sharing selfies. This article provides an empirical elaboration on what sexy selfies are and do by analysing interviews, selfies and blog content of nine women in the NSFW self-shooters community on tumblr. For our participants, self-shooting is an engaged, self-affirmative and awareness raising pursuit, where their body, through critically self-aware self-care, emerges as agentic, sexual and distinctly female. Thus, this is a reading of selfies as a practice of freedom. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

Cruz, E.G. , Thornham, H.
Selfies beyond self-representation: The (theoretical) f(r)ictions of a practice
(2015) Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, 7, art. no. 28073, .
ABSTRACT: Drawing on a wide corpus of ethnographic research projects, including on photography practices, young filmmakers and writers, and current research with young unemployed people, we argue that contemporary understandings of selfies either in relation to a “documenting of the self ” or as a neoliberal (narcissistic) identity affirmation are inherently problematic. Instead, we argue that selfies should be understood as a wider social, cultural, and media phenomenon that understands the selfie as far more than a representational image. This, in turn, necessarily redirects us away from the object “itself,” and in so doing seeks to understand selfies as a socio-technical phenomenon that momentarily and tentatively holds together a number of different elements of mediated digital communication. © 2015 E. Gomez Cruz and H. Thornham.

Farías, G.
SELFIE and the experience of the virtual image
(2015) Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities, 7 (1), pp. 74-81.

Selfie and the experience of the virtual image

ABSTRACT: People know the world through images; new realities are created and new identities are developed. Consequently, portraits may become a representation of one’s personality and a reflection of the society of spectacle. These digital pictures change the experience of memory and inherently trace back to photographs. Thus, the “screen” mediates the relations among people and the information flow carrying different meanings. In this way, the photographic material and the virtual image will be analyzed, and distinctions will be noted regarding the aesthetic experience, specifically regarding the self-portrait and the selfie. © Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities.

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