20 January 2017

Redefining Headwork in Asia

Carrying on the head is a common practice of human-powered transport in many parts of the world, as an alternative to or in combination with carrying a burden on the back or shoulders. People, especially women, have carried burdens balanced on top of the head since ancient times, usually to do daily work, but sometimes in religious ceremonies or, as a feat of skill, such as in certain dances.

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Carrying and balancing a load on the head is widespread all over Asia. Today, women and men may be seen carrying burdens on top of their heads where there is no less expensive, or more efficient, way of transporting workloads. In India, women carry baskets of bricks and containers with concrete to workmen on construction sites.

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Women in Asia in particular may have practical reasons for carrying on the head, as for many women it is well-suited to the rough, rural terrain and the particular objects they carry - like bundles of firewood on the Indian beaches of the Bay of Bengal.

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Mountain porters, frequently called sherpas in the Himalayas (after the ethnic group most Himalayan porters come from), are an essential part of trekking and mountaineering. A porter's gear is typically simple but effective. A headband aka tumpline runs underneath the load and over the crown of the head, which bears most of the weigh. Tumplines are not intended to be worn over the forehead, but rather the top of the head just back from the hairline, pulling straight down in alignment with the spine. Nepali porters can carry loads weighing more than 100 pounds (c. 45 kg), mile after arduous mile, over steep Himalayan terrain.

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Street portrait photographs of diverse people who balance loads on top of their heads in Matt Hahnewald's

08 January 2017

Varying the Facial View of Portraits

The facial views in portrait photography derive from portrait painting (e.g. Van Dyck’s Charles I in Three Positions); it is what portion or angle of the face is showing towards the lens, the photographer, and the viewer of the photograph. For interactive street portraits with eye contact, there are only two main types of facial views: (i) the full-face view (including the seven-eighths view subvariant), and (ii) the three-quarter view (including the two-third view subvariant).

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The (i) full-face view is produced when the subject is facing directly into the camera, and his nose is pointing straight towards the lens. In this view, one can see equal amounts of both sides of the subject’s face, both ears are fully visible.
The proportional full-face view is useful when one wants to show the symmetry of a subject’s face, or when one wants to convey a more assertive, dominant, or powerful attitude. The full-face view may support the yang aspect of a person (e.g. his dignity, power, masculinity, sobriety, cognition).
The slightly asymmetrical seven-eighths view subvariant of the exactly symmetrical full-face view occurs when the subject is turning his head just slightly away from the camera, still maintaining eye contact, and both of the subject’s ears are still visible.

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The (ii) three-quarter view aka half-profile view of the face is produced when the subject’s face is turned away from the camera until the far ear just disappears. It is called a three-quarter view because about three quarters of the subject’s face are visible. It is recommended that the face should not be turned so far that the nose extends past the line of the cheek. Also, it is important that the eye on the far side of the face be contained within the face by a small strip of skin visible along the far temple.
The three-quarter view is useful for revealing the shape and contours of the subject’s face. It is also more demure and less assertive than a full-face view. The three-quarter view may support the yin aspect of a person (e.g. her grace, mobility, femininity, playfulness, emotion).
The two-third view subvariant of the three-quarter view occurs when the subject has continued to turn her head until the tip of the nose is almost touching the outline of the cheek on the far side (preferably, without the nose extending beyond the line of the cheek, which wouldn't be very flattering).

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Note below the subtle psychological commonalities and differences between the three-quarter view and the seven-eighths view, but remember: the map is not the territory.

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Matt Hahnewald Photography; Facing the World; photography; photo; image; psychological; educational; amazing; interesting; Nikon D3100; Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; prime lens; 50mm lens; 4 : 3 aspect ratio; horizontal format; street; portraiture; closeup; headshot; depth of field; outdoor; sunshine; colour; cultural; character; personality; real people; human head; human face; tattoo; forehead; human eyes; facial expression; eye contact; bareheaded; consent; empathy; rapport; respect; encounter; environmental portrait; ethnic portrait; travel; ethnic; nose jewellery; earrings; Desia Kondh woman; Desia Kondh tribe; Kondha people; adivasi; market; marketer; market woman; Rayagada; Orissa; East India; one person; female; adult; posing; authentic; elderly woman; seven-eighths view; smiling; cigar


More street portraits in different facial views in Matt Hahnewald's Flickr Albums