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  1. #1
    blansky's Avatar
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    Every day millions of people take photographs of people all around the world. If the main subject matter is a person is this a portrait or is this a snapshot. What constitutes the difference.

    Michael McBlane

    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  2. #2

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    I would imagine that it would be the level of expertise. A portrait would tend to portray a person in the most favorable way. That would seem to indicate lighting considerations, camera height in regard to subject height, and the pose of the subject.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

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  3. #3
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    Snapshot...
    hi!

  4. #4
    bmac's Avatar
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    Portrait...

    hi!

  5. #5

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    Yeah, pretty much.

    See, I don't like the term "snapshot". It connotes a shot taken quickly and sort of "shooting from the hip".

    But most snapshots are composed. Not very well mind you, but still.

    To me the difference is in what the image portrays. A Portrait is emotional and tells you something about the person. A snapshot is just an image of a person.

    You can spend less time taking a portrait than a snapshot. The attached image for example is just a picture I took of a friend's brother. He went ahead a bit and when we turned the corner he was in this position. I think it works pretty well as a portrait.

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  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    What is the difference?

    It would be nice if there was some definite sharp border between the two. Unfortunately, as in most, if not all, of art ... It just doesn't happen. One might say that "portraits" are somewhat more "deliberate", but there are great examples of exceptions to that rule.

    What comes to mind is some of the work of Eugene Atget. A German Tax Official - just standing there - dead center in the frame.... expressionless. Which one? I haven't a clue - either one hell of a good snapshot or a fairly good portriat.
    I can think of lots of others - the work of Cartier-Bresson - "The Decisive Moment" stuff - couldn't all that fit a definiton of "snapshots"?

    Even in my studio - actually *very little* of my work is deliberately posed - I'll start out that way... but very rapidly, the images present themselves - and my involvement is, really, trying to keep up with what the model is presenting on her own.

    Oh what the heck ... It's ALL good, Portraits, Landscapes, Figure Studies, Still Lifes, Snapshots.

    The only "bad" photograph is the photograph not taken.

    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7

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    How about this:

    A portrait is made, the chief tool in the process being the mind of the artist. A snapshot is taken, the chief tool in the process being the random order of elements before the camera. One is created by using form, shadow, tone, light, as pieces that fit together as the artist desires. The other is much more dependant on the elements themselves, and not the creativity of the artist.

    In this way, I think there is virtually no difference between a portrait and a landscape, except in the case or the portrait, the "landscape" is more dynamic and moves a helluva lot faster.

    dgh


  8. #8
    Aggie's Avatar
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  9. #9

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    One is not exclusive of the other.
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  10. #10
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    </span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Aggie @ Mar 6 2003, 12:25 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> on this question then, What about Dorthea Lange&#39;s Photos. were they portraits, or snapshots of a slice of time and place? </td></tr></table><span class='postcolor'>
    They were portraits, she didn&#39;t use a cheesy on camera flash
    hi!

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