Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Studio Portrait Research - David Bailey

Figure 1: David Bailey Look - p017.
David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton (1962)
As part of my research into studio portraiture, I have decided to look at one of the most famous photographers David Bailey. I like the work he has created and captured with models for British Vogue fashion magazine and have became somewhat inspired by this.
A website I found when researching Bailey showed a range of portrait photography captured. I looked at a collection of portraiture from the book, David Bailey: Look and includes 7 colour illustrations, 49 black and white illustrations.

Bailey has captured portraits of artists, musicians and actors of the 1960s and 1970s. The most famous people he has captured by bailey, Michael Caine, Johnny Depp, Andy Warhol, the Rolling Stones and Catherine Deneuve.

Figure 2: David Bailey: Look - p035.
David Bailey, Michael Caine (1965)
Figure 3: David Bailey Look - p095.
David Bailey, Johnny Depp (1995)
I want to try and recreate some of the looks Bailey captured with the models. I truly like the vintage/ classic style look, captured with the Vogue models and would enjoy trying to reinvent the styles from my own interpretations. On Pinterest  I have been looking mainly at the female black and white photographs, I feel like I will be able to recreate this look on my models like the ones pictured below.

                                                                               Photo by David Bailey for French Vogue, 1969.

Jean Shrimpton by David Bailey,
Nov. 1970, Vogue UK.

Lauren Hutton by
David Bailey - Vogue US Oct.1967
Vogue, March 1964.
Jean Shrimpton by David Bailey.

Bailey has tried to capture the personality in the shot of different woman doing different poses. By doing so, the photographers will influence the viewer that that the sitters personality reflects beauty and that the sitter is also quite sure of themselves by doing poses that imply the sitters confidence.
I feel the photographer may have considered his own interpretations of beautiful women in contrast has also been able to add personality from the woman to the photographs. From the photographs, I can tell that Bailey is a confident photographer with a professional approach to his work.
The photographer has achieved the outcome by taking the photos in a well lit studio and in a monochrome - black and white contrast effect. What attracted me to David Bailey's photographs was the fact that he uses monochrome in his photographs and the way Bailey has used a shallow depth and a small aperture in order to capture a quality portrait photograph.
Bailey's work attracted me because of the styles of the photographs taken. The images are very clear and professional, taken from different angles for different models. I feel the angles in each photograph was different based on the models stance and from what angles would make them stand out from the ordinary. Also the photographs were more personal to the models to show off their good sides, this shows that the photographer has taken into consideration and thought about what would be best for each of the models.
The photographs made me feel that the subject of the photograph was to influence the viewer with beauty and elegance. I think the photographer seems very professional in his work throughout each and every model, in order has made the photographs look very successful. The shoots look professional, this suggests that the photographs were possibly created for a magazine company or a billboard.
The lighting of the photographs look as though studio lighting was used from different angles to accentuate the natural features of the women in the photographs. This has a very positive effect on each and every photograph taken in David Bailey's work. Because Bailey used studio lighting, this has made the monochrome effect on the photographs stand out and create shadows on the right areas of the photographs.
The frame of the photographs Bailey has taken are from closed compositions, three quarter length, low angles and straight on. To frame some of the photograph, Bailey has taken the photographs from the shoulders up, to only be shown in the photograph, this could not be a true representation of what was actually in the photograph, influencing the viewer to only see what is in the photograph to be the main focal point.
The viewpoint of this photograph was to have the sitter in the photograph show off this beauty in different lighting, with a monochrome effect. By doing so, the photographer has tried to represent what the viewer may be feeling about how beauty gets perceived through media and portraiture.
The focus of the photographs was to take a portrait photo of women from their best angle. Capturing the models from their best angle is important, as the photographs will turn out better and show off more of the sitters personality. The use of using this focus was on the sitters face, this was to draw attention to the main point in the photograph.
Bailey has used different techniques within the angles and lighting to capture the mood, compared to other photographers e.g. Edward S Curtis (that I will mention in a separate blog post). He as used monochrome - black and white in different techniques with the background on one of the photographs being darkened with the person being highlighted. Other photographs have the hair and facial features darkened, with the rest being highlighted.
Overall, I think that Bailey's work on portraiture has been very successful. I think Bailey's photography was successful because the portrait images turned out professional looking and has also accentuated each and every one of the models personality. There were also no props in the photographs taken, this also adds to the effect to make the photographs look more professional. The camera would mainly be focussed on the models, creating a clear portrait photograph.
The ideas that I have gained from these photographs were to take photographs in the studio and change the images to a monochrome effect. I feel inspired to capture these types of photographs, in order from my work to have a professional feel to them.
David Bailey Photograph Analysis - Jean Shrimpton, July 1965.
David Bailey captured an ordinary girl named Jean Shrimpton, after Bailey had taken photographs of Jean, she had become one of Europe's leading models. Jean had made the covers of Newsweek, Time and Life magazine. "She really was the first super model" according to David Bailey.
The photograph has a shallow depth of field to only focus on the sitter. Also the photograph has a small aperture to let more light through the lens. The composition is closed as the background as the background of the photograph extends.
The lighting of the photograph was taken in a well lit studio as there is multiple lighting towards the sitter. The lighting was also used in this photograph to emphasise the sitters true beauty. Shadows in the photograph were created so when the photograph was taken in a monochrome effect, would give the photograph hard quality, resulting in a much better photograph than what it would be without.
The background of this image was a studio effect suggesting the location, the effects from the studio background was so the viewer would only be focussing on the sitter. The sitter has a 3D effect on the viewer, this was created by the lighting. The sitters hair flowing suggests possible props were used, maybe a fan or a hairdryer to create the wind blowing effect.
The camera angle was taken from a low angle to give the sitter more power throughout the photograph. The angle of the photograph makes the overall photograph look more professional than what it would without being at this angle. Also the view is more likely to focus on the sitter from a low angle.
The body language of the sitter suggests she is sure of herself and has confidence in her looks. Therefore Bailey has helped accentuate this by taking his photographs in the way he has. 

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