From the book´s introduction:
Making great portraits is difficult. And the reasons for that are many. When a photographer concentrates his look at us as individuals, many of us become artificial, reacting with forced attitudes. We become observers of ourselves, turning into actors in our own life. We see ourselves through the eyes of the photographer, becoming strangers to ourselves.
The most skilled portrait photographers are able to confront this challenge by creating an atmosphere around the photo session, that makes the portrayed relax, feeling good and comfortable.
Another way to avoid artificiality and roleplay and to catch the natural expression of the subject is to take the photographs without the portrayeds knowledge. And even better is it, if the subject is in relatively neutrale surroundings, that do not make demands as to any specifik behaviour from the subject other than just being himself.
In many ways the public domain for that matter forms the ideal photo studio. In the public domain most people are acting as themselves, having the feeling of not being watched and therefore behaving natural and artless.
On the other hand this doesn’t mean that it is an easy task to make good photographs in the public domain. But the challenge is of another nature. Where in a photo studio one of the main tasks is to establish an atmosphere, that makes the subject relax and act naturally, making portraits in the public domain rather challenges the photographers ability to place himself in the right positions, to be observant as far as potential occurrences are concerned and to react appropriate to the social interactions and their different expressions.
The photographs of the book represent the authors first tentative beginnings of defining and using the public domain as a portrait photo studio. In addition to this the book can at the same time be regarded as exercises in utilizing the latest interactive photo- and author applications made available free of charge by various suppliers.
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