© 2010 Jacco


When is a photo a portrait? When is a portrait interesting?

When I posted the previous photo, I thought I’d create a few tags for roodharigendag, one common tag, and tags for every year I was there. Then I went through the archive of this site, only to find out that although I was there taking pictures in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, I only posted pictures of 2007 and 2010.

I haven’t gone back to look through the slides I took on other occasions, but I have some idea of what’s going on. I guess I wasn’t happy with the results. Why?

What I used to do the previous years, and what I still did to some extent this year at redheadday is taking pictures of the crowd. Sometimes of a single person in the crowd, often of the crowd in general. Just people looking in a random direction, unaware of me photographing them. This is an example of a single person in the crowd, unaware. Can you call this a portrait? Maybe. Is it interesting? Maybe. But…

But… this year, apart from those general shots, shots of people who aren’t looking my way, I also –finally?– took some shots where people really know they’re being photographed by me (the previous shot is an example). Sure, just shooting away from a safe distance is easier. But… I believe the few shots I have of people looking into the camera are more interesting. You feel you are there. You are drawn into the photo. It’s more personal.

Over the next updates, I hope to show you the difference between these types of shots, the ones taken without people knowing, and the ones where they do know.

I don’t find it easy to draw the attention to myself by asking somebody to look into the lens for a picture, but when I see the impact of the result, I realise I should really try that more often.

You’re not used to this much text from me. I hope it wasn’t too boring. If it wasn’t, let me know what your opinion is on this subject. If it was too boring… just let me know what you think of the pictures.

Bessa R3M, Leica 90 mm lens, Kodachrome 64.

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