Jide Alakija

17 Apr 2006 1,600 views
 
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Every so often I do parties with my camera and try to capture as many moments as I can. Not everybody likes to be photographed for very good reasons too but sometimes the best photographs of them are those that reflect their character. This is a photograph of a good friend who in my opinion this portrait presents her pure shy character.

No one said that a portiat had to show your facial appearance, yesterdays shot was a real reflection of my true character, some will disagree but those who really know me will tell you that I'm one who's not usually seen in the front. I act behind the scenes. I guess that's why I love photography a lot, it's about how this person portrays the world he's in without him in it at least not directly.

Post processing: Not much this time, Soft light blend mode, dark gradient from the top to bottom.

Update: I looked up the definition of a portrait as I think that the point is being missed here. According to Wikipedia -
A portrait is a painting, photograph, or other artistic representation of a person. Portraits are often simple head shots or mug shots and are not usually overly elaborate or creative. The intent is to show the basic appearance of the person, and occasionally some artistic insight into his or her personality. It's this last bit that I am referring to. Now if you say this is not a portrait then what is it? If you say you need to know the person or at least know something about the person for it to qualify as a portrait and you say you don't see that here but see supposed counter emotions and therefore conclude that it's not a portrait then what is that definition relating to? I personally know this person, chose not to reveal her name, but showed this "picture" to her friends and they immediately told me that it was a true representation of her character, in my definition that has made it a portrait based on the fact that the character had been recognised in the picture.

comments (22)

Lovely!
Jide Alakija: Thanks.
"I guess that's why I love photography a lot, it's about how this person portrays the world he's in without him in it at least not directly."

I think that's why I shoot. I am inherintly a loner. I enjoy spending lots of time by myself. I don't feel lonely or out-of-the-loop if I'm not constantly surrounded by others. That doesn't mean I don't have friends and go out and have fun occassionally (maybe too much fun), but I think it speaks volumes about my photography work and how I see the world.

This shot is fantastic, Jide. I agree with your philosophy that you don't have to show the face to take an effective portrait. Nice capture. High regards, Brent
Jide Alakija: Thanks Brent.
best shot on shutterchance today, well done
Jide Alakija: Thanks.
  • Nicola
  • Germany
  • 17 Apr 2006, 07:58
Wow, quite an impressive portrait - I agree with your description about now necessarily showing the face. Thanks for visiting my blog btw!
Jide Alakija: Thanks Nicola.
  • mr skee
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 17 Apr 2006, 08:44
A very nice capture.

I agree, effective portraits don't need to necessarily show parts of the face. But, and this can be argued, there has to be atleast an element that can be associated with the subject.

Strong examples that come to mind are the portrait of Samuel L jackson showing only the back of his head, the distinct nature and shape lead to easy recognition.

Another, good example, was done afew years ago, of the british Olympian sprinter Linford Christie, the portrait showed not his head but, his rather muscular thighs, once again this lead to easy recognition.

Which brings me to your picture: Yes a fantasic one, but it is not a portrait.

Whereas it might depict shyness, but then again it might depict anguish or pain how can we tell?

The hand raised to the head, could be really belong to any young lady with the same skin complexion, as there is nothink unque about this. As it can't lead to easy recognition.
Jide Alakija: Agree with your first point, I think you contradicted yourself in the last points. Left an update to explain my views.
  • bruno
  • Sweden
  • 17 Apr 2006, 09:10
this is very nice and emotional photo, very nice job.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Bruno.
A very nice portrait it exudes a softness and shyness....well done
Jide Alakija: Thanks FP.
Darn Mr Skee stole the words out of my PC smile Lovely shot, but after reading your comments, I started to wonder, how am I sure this is depicting shyness, why not anguish or pain?

Lovely lovely capture(I likey), but not a portrait for me smile

Suby
Jide Alakija: Thanks...but don't think Skee's point really hold this time. Left an update on the site if interested.
  • Micki
  • 17 Apr 2006, 12:04
It is a fun shot! Had she seen it?
Jide Alakija: Thanks Micki, yes she has. She liked it and so did her friends.
  • digitalmike
  • Virginia, USA
  • 17 Apr 2006, 14:36
Great skin tone. Good catch.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Mike.
unique portrait! well done
Jide Alakija: Thanks.
  • Veloran
  • Singapore
  • 17 Apr 2006, 15:20
Very unusual portait, good shot. The emotion being portrayed can be easily misunderstood though, as Mr Skee has already pointed out.
Jide Alakija: Emotions can always be misunderstood, but then that's in the eye of the beholder. If I hadn't told you it was a portrait you wouldn't know it was, but I did and so it's up to you to take it as one or not.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to commment, really appreciate it.
  • Yinkavelli
  • United States
  • 17 Apr 2006, 17:13
Cheers mate!!!
Jide Alakija: You're welcome...but what for? Velli fromt eh state? Since when?
  • Ella
  • Germany
  • 17 Apr 2006, 18:28
From my understanding mr skee referred to the fact that celebrities tend to have easily recognizable features such as the shape of the head or the thighs that can be used to portrait the person instead of showing the face. As your friend is not a celebrity and she is not known to us, there are no physical features we might recognize her by even if she had some quite distinct ones. You told us that she has a tendency to react shy and that she doesn't like to be photographed. Of course that is not a physical trademark, but rather a quite predictable behavior she chooses to show. Therefore in my opinion you have indeed managed to portray her as a shy person. (I believe that she would look rather different, if she was angry, in pain or showing some other negative feeling.)
Jide Alakija: Interesting point. Thanks for sharing.
  • Ricardo
  • Barcelona
  • 17 Apr 2006, 19:02
Intimist, personal, delicate...
Jide Alakija: Thanks Man
  • mr skee
  • skeetown UK
  • 17 Apr 2006, 21:12
In 20 years time, even her children will not know who this is! I rest my case.
Jide Alakija: Thanks again, but I still don't think your arguement holds here. Remember her friends qualified the fact that it was a representation of her character.
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 17 Apr 2006, 21:52
I always thought that a portrait was representation of the human form. If it gives insight into who the person is or what they are about then, even if it is only recognizable to the person who took it, or the person of whom it was taken, then I think it is successful.

If I see a picture of a stranger, all I know is what they look like, whereas with this one it tells me that maybe she isn't completely comfortable with herself.

I have done "portraits" like this myself. One of my favorites is this one of my youngest son. You may not "see" what he looks like, but it certainly says who he is. http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/3436/2313/1024/P9280249.2.jpg

I like this, it may not be the type of portait I would hang on my wall, but it definitely has meaning to those who know her.
Jide Alakija: Thanks Laurie for that. I love that portrait, it really has inspired me.
  • deji77
  • newcastle, uk
  • 17 Apr 2006, 22:01
u know its shots like these that frustrate me. if i took such a shot it wouldn't come out ANYTHING like this. well i guess that's wat separates the pros from the amateurs smile another fabulous shot jide.

well coming from an engineering background in which there is always an obsession to be "precise" about everything. i love (and hate) how art offers the artist and audience room within which to inteprete things as they see fit. if jide says this is a portrait, well....

smile
Jide Alakija: Ta...what else can I say but "Ta!".
Very nice and I do think it conveys the message you want, shyness. You could crop it very slightly higher to focus on the hand in the hair, I found the folds in her sleeve and the pink/purple top detracts from the image but only because of the ShMood! smile
  • tetsu
  • Japan
  • 21 Apr 2006, 10:13
Impressive shot. I like this one. smile
  • Femi Shabs
  • United States
  • 27 Apr 2006, 01:26
I don't see shyness - I see grief...
  • IQ test
  • France
  • 28 Apr 2006, 14:16
A very intelligent shot. What a good idea and realization smile

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camera Canon EOS 10D
exposure mode
shutterspeed 1/100s
aperture f/2.8
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 50.0mm
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