BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
 

portraits and testosterone


Hello All
I have been working on lighting, wow reading everything I can get my hands on.
However I am not sure that I understand it all or it is just not sinking in. It seams that poses for females almost every pose works for but the male side I do not seem to get the testosterone coming through the photo can anybody give me a helping hand here please


To love this question, log in above
9/29/2006 5:06:18 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   First, stop trying to shoehorn every male into a single category of pose. Not every guy exudes what society deems masculinity but it doesn't mean they aren't. Tailor the pose to the person, not the other way around.

For instance: There are guys in the NFL who are 6', 210 lbs. who LOOK like football players. I am 6', 210 but I more closely resemble the Pillsbury Doughboy! You wouldn't pose us the same way. Create the pose to fit the subject.

Another example: The late Coleen Dewhurst was an actress. She was older, overweight and not very pretty. However, with the way she carried herself and the wry smile she had she was dripping with sexiness. I would pose her to bring that out. Pamela Anderson is younger, prettier and dripping with........ peroxide and silicone. IMO, not much to work with there so you just do the best you can.


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 6:30:35 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Hi Tami,

If you study famous photographers specializing in portraits of men:
What stands out most is how they handled lighting ratio and placement of the main lamp.

Main lamp set high to simulate sun. Often this lamp is set further off to the side than for female subjects. Lots of examples where main lamp skims the cheek to create a weathered skin effect. Main is not usually diffused i.e. no umbrella or soft any thing.

Normally portraiture is illuminated using a 3:1 ratio this is know as “bread-and-butter” lighting because it sells best. Men generally photograph better if the lighting is set to deliver a higher contrast. Two higher ratios are used, they are respectively, 5:1 and 9:1. Five to one is contrasty. Nine to one delivers theatrical lighting.

You should first try for the 5:1 ratio.

How to achieve: Exposure at subject plane is measured with only the main operating i.e. everything off except main. Note exposure in f stops. Measure main lamp to subject distance and jot it down.

5:1 Ratio: Place fill lamp somewhere near a line drawn between camera and subject. This line extends from behind camera to subject. Set fill and main same subject to lamp distance, set fill to 1/4 power; this causes fill light energy to arrive at subject plane two (2) f/stops dimmer than main. This establishes the 5:1 lighting ratio. Unable to adjust power? With both main and fill set to equal power (same wattage) place fill further back than main. To establish fill to subject distance, multiply main to subject distance by 2. Example main is 8 feet, then 8 x 2 = 16 feet. This is fill to subject distance for 5:1.

9:1 Ratio: Fill and main at same lamp to subject distance. Set fill lamp power to 1/8 power; this causes fill light energy to arrive at subject plane three (3) f/stops dimmer than main. This establishes a 9:1 lighting ratio. Unable to adjust power? With both main and fill set to equal power (same wattage) place fill further back, multiply main to subject distance by 2.75. Example main is 8 feet, then 8 x 2.75 = 22 feet. This is fill to subject distance for 9:1.

Lots of luck,

Alan Marcus
ammarcus@earthlink.net


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 7:43:25 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Have a good prop house of supplies... After you've set up the main lighting, hand the man a Natural Light and a hammer...this should work, Tami... The portrait will really sell if you can manage to get him while he's scratching or burping... wife beaters (those tank top undershirts) are a sure thing, too... ;>)


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 8:00:10 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Sipho says: "After you've set up the main lighting, hand the man a Natural Light...".

So is this some kind of special lighting for man and which company makes it...like Norman, Speedotron, Bowens?? Maybe I should get one of these kind of lights??? Whaddya think???
Mark
============================= ;>)


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 8:40:41 AM

 
Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  Kerry W. and Sipho E. I apologize please do not take offence, as I do hold your opinions close to me and appreciate all the help you have offered. I may have worded it wrong let me try again.
I do understand that you can take a Man of 6’ 200+ (as my husband is) and have him sit in a few different poses….. when you view them later it is clear that a Man should not be put in this pose (or clear to me) for example I can have a women of any size, sit on her knees and it is very flattering in many directions. However it seems that when I take a man of any size and have him do the same it just does not seem right or perhaps natural. Also if I soften the light it looks great for a woman of any age it appears to bring the estrogen to the top. However when I soften the light on a man of any age it just looks wrong and I do mean wrong.

So I guess what I am looking for is how do you bring the testosterone to the front of the portrait like I have been able to do with estrogen? Not how to make a man look like the Heathen you suggested. But the Man he is in side.

Alan M. Thank you for your help I will try this. I have been studding some of the great photographers…. And I am trying to understand some, 1 thing that seems to ring back is a man that studied this problem in photography for years back in the 60’s. I can not seem to recall his name right now however his words of wisdom have been very helpful.

Again Kerry and Sipho I believe that you took me in a different light then in which I intended…. Please understand sometime I am a bit to the bottom line (gruff) Testosterone is what makes the difference from Female to Male, and I have yet to meat a man that wants to be mistaken as a women.

LOL and trust me some of my portraits that is what I did…….


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 8:45:19 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   "I have yet to meat a man that wants to be mistaken as a women."

Well. RuPaul comes to mind. LOL


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 8:49:49 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Dang, I wasn't offended at all...I was joking!!!! None of what I said was serious. Here's some serious advice though: QUIT POSING PEOPLE! Let them pose themselves, that's how you'll get them to look natural. Have one prop (or none) like a simple chair. Tell 'em just to park it and then start talking to them about something else. Their family, hobbies, work, etc... Then and ONLY then will you get natural.


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 8:59:41 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   LOL @ Kerry and Mark!!! Yeah Kerry - drag queens are a whole other story!!!


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 9:01:25 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   "Then and ONLY then will you get natural."

Do you mean natural or au naturel? Sometimes I get confused.


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 9:02:00 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   "LOL @ Kerry and Mark!!! Yeah Kerry - drag queens are a whole other story!!!"

Yeah, but he is good.


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 9:03:13 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Sage wisdom there, SE.

I think the photographer you might mean Tami is Man Ray, check out his work.
M.


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 11:27:41 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Kerry - Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables is not sexy!!!! She's mean and used to beat poor Anne about the head with a butter churn. And she was mean to her brother too, and then tried to act like she cared and cried when he died...


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 11:39:14 AM

 
W.    "So I guess what I am looking for is how do you bring the testosterone to the front of the portrait like I have been able to do with estrogen?"

Could you please post a few of those photos, Tami, so that we can actually SEE what you mean instead of having to guess?


To love this comment, log in above
9/29/2006 12:02:38 PM

 
Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  I will post a few as soon as I get my computer back from the Doctor…. Wow what an ordeal that has been. It seems that too many people think about how hard photography would be with out the computer LOL ok all my disc are full 1 gb, 2 gb and I should have gotten my system back last Friday…… promised work out that is still in my camera. Even though I do not do very much touch up on Corel “I MISS MY LAPTOP”
LOL I went down to work on the kids computer and wow it is slow (only to me I guess)
The monitor did not give me the best color (again only to me) Well I gave up and called the computer doctor again sure enough Friday.

I think you can see it yourself Take a male and have him sit on his knees with his bottom on the back of his feet, now take the female and have her sit the same way. It is a very nice estrogen shot for either LOL why is that? Now have the male sit down on the floor and have him put one leg up and one leg down, doe the same with the female. She looks rough and he looks like well relaxed and masculine. I am over analyzing however it is very intriguing.
Oh and yes I can post at work however to bring all of my camera things in to down load they might wonder what I am doing with my class LOL


To love this comment, log in above
10/3/2006 7:37:46 AM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I have a book somewhere that talks about "S" and "C" curves for men and women. More specifically, women are usually to be posed with an overall "S" shape to their body and men with a "C" shape. Also, it states that men are "leaners." I can vouch for that. I like to lean on stuff, haha. Something else you could do is check out magazine ads if you look at magazines a lot. Commercials are also pretty good. Almost anywhere that you can see a guy acting decently normal or looking good. Watch guys and study guys I guess. See what look comfortable.


To love this comment, log in above
10/3/2006 7:49:48 AM

 
Tami Rook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/26/2006
  LOL Oh I like this learning curve Watch men, study men... now I can tell my husband that it is a learning thing right???? LOL

Just kidding
I did read that somewhere about S and C
Thank you


To love this comment, log in above
10/3/2006 7:54:48 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.