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Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Dec 17, 2011.
Oh, indeed... that was a confounding variable!
All the better to argue it's purely subjective, m'dear.
Well, you know what they say about statistics and statisticians. I'm not sure what anyone says about geometry, though.
I think Matt may be on to something...
"Photogenic" is culturally determined. If a portrait subject can be used to turn out face pictures like the ones in the popular "beautiful people" magazines then they are photogenic. If we lived in the Sara, Lobi, or Surma tribes the women with the biggest lip-discs would be the most photogenic!
They might ask the question: 'hey, I've got a bigger lip disc than her but she looks better on film, what gives?'...
What makes a person photogenic? A good photographer and a beauty dish.
For this kind of thing, I generally check I with the mirror...
...to see if anyone suitable is standing behind me.
i don't know what makes a person photogenic, but i know there are ways
of photographing someone to show them in a flattering pose.
everyone has a "good side" ... that combined with camera tilt, and lighting, and careful retouching ...
Symmetry and slightly exaggerated facial features such a bone structure, lip shape, orbital lobes, brow shape, chin and jaw line shape. Expression and projection of feeling. even and smooth tones.
Certain aspects of beauty are universal to the human condition, an air of health and strong traits for fertility. Objects such a Venus figurines have been found in archaeological sites all over the world, from all different cultures.
But, culture can also dictate the norms of those peoples, and what is culturally accepted or taboo in relation to beauty. The more restricted the culture the more narrow the window, the more open and mixed a culture is the more forms present of accepted beauty.
A widely known phenomenon from more recent history is the practice of tanning. Prior to the 50's a very light and fair complexion was considered beautiful, the social change of the more affluent class to tan and darken the complexion went contrary to this, but the reflected image of having enough disposable income, to go on vacation and out to beaches to tan, changed the societal norms. Tanning no longer just indicated a worker in the sun all day, but a person of leisure and wealth too. This was also in part of the relaxing of social norms for the style of clothing worn in that period to allow tanning.
It is, and has always been an unknown quantity.
Some people just glow and others don't, no matter how "beautiful" they are.
Some people hit a sweet spot in the viewers mind and others don't.
That's why in Hollywood and in print, they always do test shots and screen tests.
Some people just have that illusive, undefinable quality that the camera loves.
Magic is magic.
It's what makes life.....well, .....magical.
Besides the word "photogenic" is too mundane a word to describe this magic.
It's a word like pleasant. Has no impact or emotion behind it.
Nice full hooters, slim waist, long legs. Cut the head off when cropping. There you have it
According to many anthropologists we are attracted to someone with symmetrical features for a mate. This is why someone who looks like Alfred E. Neuman doesn't get picked. Many animals, and I suspect humans too, have an aversion to a species member who looks different, who differs from the norm. So I would say that symmetrical features play a large role in who is thought of as photogenic.
There should be a wide variety of opinions on this question, and that seems to be true here. To me, "photogenic" isn't synonymous with "beautiful". There are people who definitely don't conform to a culture's norms of beauty who are easy to photograph so that a striking image - in one way or another - is more often the result. I think the comment above on "attitude" reflects this, and one important detail is the way the eyes and/or body language communicate emotion to the viewer.
Agree with the dismissive replies. I do not know the true answer, but I, too, have often heard it had to do with symmetry (of course, an attractive symmetry) of features. A lot of people have one side of the face very different from the other side, and when observed from different points may or may not look attractive. Those I guess are the ones who" can't take a bad photo". Anthropologically speaking, symmetry, along with balance and coordination, produce subliminal clues that that person just might make a good breeding partner. So I guess having that person in your photographs guarantees interest?
You know some interesting guys, I'll give you that!
In the words of Peter Britt, photographer, in Southern Oregon in the 1800's (in reply to a complaint):
"Madam, if you wish a photograph of a beautiful face, you shall have to bring one."
"She had a face that looked like a bag of spanners"
doubt it .it'ds the same as with charme you'lllose it the second youthought you hsd it !
I think this is a good question, even though it does not lend itself to an easy answer.
In broad terms, it may be easier to answer/quantify as some of the posters have indicated. Things like shape, symmetry or bone structure are fairly simple to pick out as common attributes from a selection of portraits that we agree are 'photogenic.' But I believe that breaks down when we get to the specifics of an individual person.
As far as any individual is concerned, I agree with those who have said it comes from within the person. Whether you call it attitude or honesty, it is an elusive quality that some people just have.
It may instead reflect back on the viewer, and what they consider to be more representative of reality. From my own observations, I consider models to be generally at the upper end of the pretty/beautiful scale - but ultimately uninteresting. When I look at portraits by Shelby Lee Adams, I find the people may be lower on the pretty/beautiful scale, but they look far more interesting to me. (And by interesting, I mean people who have no pretension about who they are, and people that I would like to know.)
If you want to know if a person is photogenic you photograph them, it's the only way, that's why the movie industry have screen tests.
Most people are frightened to be photographed but some (usually beautiful but not always) are more willing to let themselves be recorded. Also, photogenic people wear their emotions on their faces. The inner spirit comes through. A good portraitist can calm that fear and evoke those emotional expressions. I'm not very good at it but I keep trying.
ive friends who are "beautiful" or at least some of
the most beautiful people i have ever met. but the lens
isn't kind ... personally i think it is the lack of skill of the operator ...
there are people that can make a scab look like a work or art
and a "homely" person look like a god or goddess ...
maybe michael is right the camera-iikes/dislikes
and it has nothing to do with skill ( Or Effort ? )