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perkeleellinen
10-28-2010, 08:42 AM
Baldness isn't what it used to be. Shaved or close-cropped hair is fashionable, many men exploit lack of hair as a distinguishing feature. This is partly because of the way that everyone is growing up much later - what our parents did in their mid-20s, we do in our mid-30s. We're delaying getting old, but our hair follicles aren't listening. Hence, baldness is becoming a more 'youthful' thing.

If you're a man.

This is to ask about shooting techniques for women who are thin on top. I've got some relatives in their 90s who are thin and are also a little uncomfortable with it. I don't like the idea of lowering the camera and pointing up a little as it will accentuate the skin under the chin and make the subject look like they've got a wattle. I suppose I'll need to play with positioning the flash. How do more experienced shooters deal with bald subjects?

Mainecoonmaniac
10-28-2010, 09:43 AM
Hi Steve,

How about using a spotlight for portraiture? Just light their face and not the baldness nor wattle. Here's a great shot by Albert Watson.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/rock_and_roll/images/EL60.126-Watson-LLCoolJ_542-wide.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/rock_and_roll/ll_cool_j.php&usg=__vMO_6xKLuXmULdyPjQBZt8FOel0=&h=678&w=542&sz=56&hl=en&start=93&zoom=1&tbnid=o1_1BGpUSod3iM:&tbnh=147&tbnw=142&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dalbert%2Bwatson%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26 client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DX%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1584%26bih%3D938%26tbs%3Disch: 10%2C1257&um=1&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=601&vpy=492&dur=3113&hovh=251&hovw=201&tx=111&ty=276&ei=OovJTMf5G4r2swPy65mEDw&oei=J4vJTO7MHo-qsAOjy82JDg&esq=3&page=3&ndsp=45&ved=1t:429,r:3,s:93&biw=1584&bih=938

This might point you in the right direction. There's also the work of a famous Hollywood photographer George Hurell that shoots with spotlights too.

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1248/1241944035_dfdc2fc685.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flickr.com/photos/view-finder/1241944035/&h=500&w=383&sz=78&tbnid=5Rp7KLRhkBu7SM:&tbnh=130&tbnw=100&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dhurrell&zoom=1&q=hurrell&hl=en&usg=__ibhirI4YWQ4pjy9e5ZRy1XRupiU=&sa=X&ei=14vJTK7RMYiisAOL37yWDg&ved=0CDIQ9QEwBA

Best,

Don

perkeleellinen
10-28-2010, 10:14 AM
Hi Don,

Thanks, that could work. I'm going to be doing this in colour, but I think it could work just the same (perhaps with a flash snoot).

jerry lebens
10-28-2010, 10:35 AM
Be careful using such a small light source (relative to the subject) you may accentuate wrinkles and end up in the doghouse for completely different reasons - a larger, softer, diffused light might be a better bet. I know it's talking in stereotypes but hard light is great if you want to accentuate the character (ie wrinkle) of an elderly male sitter but less flattering to women as they get older. Subtly persuading them to wear a hat might be a good idea - similarly, a shawl is great for covering up those bingo wings...

Regards
Jerry

Mainecoonmaniac
10-28-2010, 11:04 AM
So true. Wrinkles are sometime accentuated by light that is off to the side. Frontal lighting will be more flattering when it comes to harsher light. As for not accentuating wattle, goboing light on the chin with Mathews dots and fingers could also work.

http://setshop.com/grip-73/m.s.e.-(matthews)/dots-fingers

I'm not telling you to give your portraits clients the finger :)

Dan Henderson
10-28-2010, 01:02 PM
Subtly persuading them to wear a hat might be a good idea - similarly, a shawl is great for covering up those bingo wings...

Regards
Jerry

What the heck is a bingo wing?

Andrew Moxom
10-28-2010, 01:12 PM
Dan, actually, that's the flabby skin on the bottoms of their upper arms that a lot of older people have....

Mainecoonmaniac
10-28-2010, 01:33 PM
Dan, actually, that's the flabby skin on the bottoms of their upper arms that a lot of older people have....
A Jungle Pouch is that sagging flap of skin on a cat's belly. All things sag when they get old.

perkeleellinen
10-28-2010, 01:42 PM
I did a quick trawl around the web looking for interesting lighting and posing positions for elderly women and found very little. Seems most photographers are shooting young girls and anyone over 30 is 'elderly' and in need of diffusion. Perhaps there's a business opening here.

Jeff Kubach
10-28-2010, 02:02 PM
Good information since I'm a bald headed geezer!

Jeff

jeffreyg
10-28-2010, 02:22 PM
Hats

http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

perkeleellinen
10-28-2010, 04:06 PM
I can actually see the hat thing being counter-productive.

- "Do you want to wear a hat?"

- "Why should I wear a hat?"

mabman
10-28-2010, 07:06 PM
If you anticipate it will be a problem, and you're shooting 1 person at a time, I'd shoot a tight close-up of the face cropped at the forehead or hairline (if the thinning is more evident on top than in the front). It probably violates one of the "rules", but nuts to that :) I find the most interesting feature of many older people are their eyes anyway.

Sirius Glass
10-28-2010, 07:30 PM
Or after you print the photograph, touch up the print with a soft pencil and add hair!

tomalophicon
10-28-2010, 08:24 PM
If you shave them completely they will be hip

lxdude
10-28-2010, 09:57 PM
Dan, actually, that's the flabby skin on the bottoms of their upper arms that a lot of older people have....

I hadn't heard it before. I cracked up when I figured it out...I have a mental image of an old lady yelling "BINGO!" and waving her hand in the air, and whoever's next to her is getting slapped silly by her bingo wings.

Sirius Glass
10-29-2010, 07:34 PM
Arm flaps

lxdude
10-29-2010, 08:27 PM
"What's grandma up to?"
"Just hangin', like she always does."

Alex Bishop-Thorpe
10-31-2010, 07:55 AM
I have nothing constructive to contribute except something I overheard in the markets a few weeks ago when I was out for lunch with my girlfriend. We walked past two elderly women speaking near a fruit stall and caught just a snippet of their conversation,
"Yes, but that's because bald men look like penises"
I know I shouldn't, but I really want to know the context of that conversation...

From a 21 year old with a conveniently shaven head (I'm not losing my hair, of course not...)

benjiboy
11-01-2010, 05:31 AM
I have nothing constructive to contribute except something I overheard in the markets a few weeks ago when I was out for lunch with my girlfriend. We walked past two elderly women speaking near a fruit stall and caught just a snippet of their conversation,
"Yes, but that's because bald men look like penises"
I know I shouldn't, but I really want to know the context of that conversation...

From a 21 year old with a conveniently shaven head (I'm not losing my hair, of course not...) Hence the expression "Dick head" :laugh: