These days the Venice Carnival is in progress. This photo represents actually a detail of a disguised person. To see the entire image you can click on the photo above. Venice is a real huge outdoor studio where you can perfectly study the technique of creating an “environmental portrait” (these are portraits of people in their natural environment). The great number of disguised people and their willingness to collaborate with photographers for getting unique images is an extraordinary opportunity to learn this type of shooting.
For a regular photographer, who eventually reaches Venice directly from his studio, which is full of controlled and artificial lights where he is shooting portraits without masks, the meeting with the people behind the masks, on Venetian streets is full of unique sensations. And this is because when you think of a portrait you focus on the face and its expressions.
These are ways of connection between the model and the photographer, that through communication, he manages to highlight the model’s personality through his/her expression. In Venice, during the Carnival this process is deeply disturbed because the masks block the access to the face of the model. In this case a portrait has to be done without facial expressions, or rather with a unique face. Under these conditions the photographer and the model have to collaborate in such a way in order to be able to reflect face-expressions. Here interferes the movement of hands and body. And of course there are still the eyes. But the masks are made in such a way that access to the eyes is heavily blocked. Most of the times, the eyes are constantly in motion, hidden and located in extremely dark and narrowed areas. In this way, trying to get a clear shoot of the eyes behind the masks represents an extremely important test of photographic technique.
Photo of the Week 2016