US Army Photography Course SS0510-A - Introduction to Portrait Photography

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    SUBCOURSE EDITION

    SS0510 A

    INTRODUCTION TO PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

    DEVELOPMENT DATE: September 1994

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    INTRODUCTION TO PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY

    Subcourse Number SS 0510

    EDITION A

    United States Army Signal Center and SchoolFort Gordon, GA 30905-5074

    6 Credit Hours

    Edition Date: September 1994

    SUBCOURSE OVERVIEW

    This subcourse presents the information and techniques necessary to enable you to shoot official Armyportraits. Essentially, there are three types of portraits required for military purposes: identification,

    formal, and informal. You will learn to identify these types of portraits and select the correct camera andlens requirements for proper perspective. In addition, you will learn about portrait lighting; selecting the best type for the situation; and setting the light ratio. Also contained within this subcourse are

    suggestions on posing the subject. Finally, you will identify the proper films and learn to produce and

    evaluate the final product--the print for overall quality.

    There are no prerequisites for this subcourse.

    This subcourse reflects the doctrine which was current at the time it was prepared. In your own worksituation, always refer to the latest official publications.

    Unless otherwise stated, the masculine gender of singular pronouns is used to refer to both men andwomen.

    TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE

    ACTION: You will identify and describe the basic principles of portrait photography to include

    the three types of portraits and proper selection of lighting and camera equipment.

    CONDITION: You will be given information from TM 11-401-1, TM 11-401-2, and STP 1125S13-

    SM-TG.

    STANDARD: To demonstrate competency of this task, you must achieve a minimum score of 70%on the subcourse examination.

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    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Section Page

    Subcourse Overview ....................................................................................................................................i

    Lesson 1: Introduction to Portraiture, Portrait Equipment, and Lighting ..............................................1-1

    Part A: Types of Portraits......................................................................................................1-3

    Part B: Portrait Cameras and Lenses ....................................................................................1-7

    Part C: Portrait Lighting .....................................................................................................1-10

    Practice Exercise...................................................................................................................1-33

    Answer Key and Feedback...................................................................................................1-35

    Lesson 2: Directing the Subject and Finishing the Print ........................................................................2-1

    Part A: Posing the Subject ....................................................................................................2-2

    Part B: Selecting and Processing Films and Papers for Portraiture .....................................2-9

    Practice Exercise...................................................................................................................2-11

    Answer Key and Feedback...................................................................................................2-12

    Examination ............................................................................................................................................E-1

    Appendix A: List of Acronyms...............................................................................................................A-1

    Appendix B: Sample Photographs .........................................................................................................B-1

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    LESSON 1

    INTRODUCTION TO PORTRAITURE, PORTRAIT EQUIPMENT,

    AND LIGHTING

    Critical Task: 113-578-1011

    OVERVIEW

    LESSON DESCRIPTION:

    In this lesson, you will learn to identify the three types of portraits generally required for Army use. You

    will also learn to select the proper camera and lens requirements for various portraits. In addition, you

    will describe the correct techniques of lighting, including selection of equipment and light ratios, for avariety of situations that you may encounter.

    TERMINAL LEARNING OBJECTIVE:

    ACTIONS: a. Identify the three types of portraits: identification, formal, and informal.

    b. Identify the proper image placement of the subject within the viewing area of the

    camera selected for the type of portrait required.

    c. Describe the overall purpose, pose, and backgrounds used to obtain the portrait.

    d. Identify the proper camera for a given portrait type along with the minimum lens

    focal length required to prevent distortion and to maintain a comfortable workingdistance both in front of and behind the subject.

    e. Identify the proper film for various camera formats.

    f. Identify placement of electronic flash, calculation of exposure, and lighting ratios

    for outdoor portrait.

    CONDITION: You will be given information from TM 11-401-2 and STP 11-25S13-SM-TG.

    STANDARD: Identify and describe the three types of portraits and the cameras and lightingequipment used in portraiture in accordance with TM 11-401-1 and STP 11-25S13-

    SM-TG.

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    REFERENCES: The material contained in this lesson was derived from the following publications:TM 11-401-1 and STP 11-25S13-SM-TG.

    INTRODUCTION

    A portrait is a likeness of a person, especially the face. This definition isolates one essential point in

    portraiture. A portrait should emphasize the person rather than the person's environment or something

    associated with the person. However, a pictorial representation which portrays only a recognizable

    likeness of a person is not enough. A portrait must be more than just a photograph. It must have mood, personality, and characteristics from which the viewer can draw conclusions about the subject. By

    manipulating expressions, posing, lighting, and environments, a portrait photographer can portray any

    mood from happiness to gloom as well as the personality of a subject. Posing the subject with familiarobjects and environments can produce a more natural expression and pose because the subject will be

    more at ease. Articles or props included in the scene can help to tell more about the subject.

    Success in portraiture requires a thorough understanding of the techniques involved, an artistic ability,

    and a talent for directing the subject of a portrait into the desired expression and pose. The portraitphotographer should have a sensitivity for, and an understanding of people. Portrait photographers varyconsiderably in their styles and techniques. The subjects of portraits vary in their likes and dislikes.

    Thus, there is no one blueprint or formula which will ensure success.

    Of all the subjects passing before our cameras, the portrait subject is the most interesting andchallenging to many photographers. In portraiture, the subject is always changing and challenging the

    photographer. If you are to meet this challenge, you must have vision, be capable of good judgment, and

    have an ability and willingness to seek out the best in your subjects and show them to their advantage.

    How you visualize the picture, how you pose and light the subject, and how you capture the right

    expression are more important than the mechanical operation of the camera. What takes place frombehind the lens in no way alters the lighting, pose, or the expression, which are the prime factors of good

    portraiture.

    Most people have their portraits made because they want someoneelse to see how they look. They want others to see them to the

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    best advantage and to think highly of them. A beautiful woman knows she is beautiful and in a pictureshe wants to appear beautiful--so make her beautiful. A slight flattering may be called for, but not over

    flattery. Men know their features; they know whether they appear dignified; they know if they appear to

    have great strength of character; and they are right in expecting the photographer to emphasize thesegood points. The subject expects a true portrait--a good expression and natural pose, a portrait that

    shows whatever beauty or strength she or he has, and one that shows his or her character and features.

    Character is formed by life. A frown or a smile today leaves no trace, but continued use of facial

    muscles to form a smile, a laugh, or a frown leaves lines on the forehead, around the eyes, nose, and

    mouth. And it is these lines and expressions that form facial character. Lines of character are scars won

    in our battle of life, and as such, must be carefully considered by the portrait photographer. They can besubdued or exaggerated by the way you light your subject. Ex