Friday, 5 December 2014

The Studio Portrait Research - Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs of portraits were interesting to look at, and were all shot in black and white. The contrast in the photographs was well captured throughout especially with the use of a black backdrop.

Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, 1987
The photograph of Princess Gloria really stands out to me, this is due to the composition and the framing. The sitter in the photograph has their eyes closed, this could signify that she doesn't want anyone to see her eyes and read her. Her pearl necklace shows that she is classy and the way her make up is applied also give off a classy impression. The lighting looks as though it mainly comes from the left, but nothing lights up the background.

Patti Smith, 1986
The sitter in this photograph has a very serious look on her face, but it also reflects sadness. Her clothing is plain and matches the background, so it blends in with it. The main focus of the photograph seems to be the hand and face. I feel as though she's holding her hand up to show off her ring on her finger suggesting she's married. The expression in her face may link in with how she's feeling about her marriage. 
Deborah Harry, 1978

The sitter in this photograph look casual, but at the same time holds glamour. The glamour look is mainly down to the way her hair is styles and the preciseness of her make up. She's also wearing jewellery, the necklace gives off an elegant vibe, but her earrings make it more casual looking. Also her clothing is plain, this makes me think that the photographer only wanted to capture the person rather than their fashion.

Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984
This photograph was interesting as the photographer has been able to capture both races. The photographer has captured the sitters from their side profile with one man with his eyes open and the other man with his eyes closed. The background has been lit and the key lighting looks as though it comes from above. 
Isabella Rosellini, 1988

This photograph to me represents elegance, the way the sitter is dressed, her hair styles, make up and clothing all represent this. In the sitters hair the light is reflecting from above meaning that there was lighting coming from above, but also from a straight on angle. The sitter looks deep in thought, from first glance it looks like the sitter is feeling down, but looking properly at her, it looks as though she is daydreaming about someone maybe.

Overall, I feel the photographer has captured the personalities of the sitter very well and feel like I could read what the people were like just from these photographs. Though I could be completely wrong as a photograph doesn't show every aspect of a person.

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