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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk
Thread started 19 Jan 2015 (Monday) 15:10
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Photographs of Jesus

 
Rainyday
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Jan 19, 2015 15:10 |  #1

Y'know how artist photographers will sometimes create an enviromental portrait of somebody or a concept that is long in the past? They might try to convey a photo of the grim reaper, or a leprechaun or King Arthur or something, using models and photography. (sometimes you see these on book covers)

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody has ever done that with Jesus? Instead of the usual paintings you see, somebody might try to create an historically accurate photography portrait of Jesus.

I know. It sounds weird. Didn't find anything on Google but I'll bet it would make an interesting art project. I'd try it myself, but I'm only a moderately talented hobbyist and would probably goof it up.

Not trying to start a debate, remember some discussions are not permitted on POTN and for good reason. But does anybody know if it's ever been done?

Thanks.




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samsen
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Jan 19, 2015 15:24 |  #2

As you say, discussing few topics on POTN are not allowed and one is Religion. If you thought censor is not strong in this side, think again.
I am not sure if this thread will last long but as of now, I don't see anything against general policies of POTN except, the potential that something might go wrong (And one of my favorite Moderators is always behind me to remove and censor my comments even those that has nothing to do with the forbidden topics of forum) but any how in the name of good Samaritans will leave an answer here, but God blesses you / all of us.

Did you check with this list,

LINKexternal link

especially this documentary?

LINKexternal link


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Rainyday
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Jan 19, 2015 17:46 |  #3

I have seen those, thank you. But I was wondering if any photography has ever used a model to produce speculative enviromental portraits of Jesus. I know artists make statues, and paintings and all sorts of artistic expression.

Again, no offense is intended and if this thread is not in the rules, the moderators are certainly welcome to delete it, I'll understand.




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LV ­ Moose
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Jan 19, 2015 17:59 |  #4

Just because the OP is asking about using a model to replicate the look of a religious figure, doesn't mean this is a discussion about religion.

I see nothing wrong with it. It's done in videos and full-length films all the time. Why should photography be any different? Artists have been portraying what they imagine Christ looked like for centuries. Photography is just a newer medium.


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Pekka
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Jan 19, 2015 18:12 |  #5

Rainyday wrote in post #17390277external link
Again, no offense is intended and if this thread is not in the rules, the moderators are certainly welcome to delete it, I'll understand.

This thread is fine, as long as the discussion stays in realm of photography and no religion is involved in debate.

It would be interesting to pick some really popular historical figures and do some very realistic and accurate (to the period) environmental portraits. It would require a lots of props, clothing, makeup, location scouting: basically the same effort and requirements if you were to shoot a movie scene. Photoshop could help a lot of course.


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Rainyday
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Jan 19, 2015 19:00 |  #6

Thank you, Pekka. I will stay within those bounds. It would be an interesting photo project, someday perhaps I'll try it. And yes, if you were to do a speculative enviromental portrait of a famous historical person, who would you pick? The trick is to pick somebody that has no photographs in existence. So, you could do Washington but not Lincoln.

Or, you could pick a mythical creature-perhaps a centaur, unicorn or one of the fairy folk. I have seen "photographs" of fairies, and they are very cool indeed. Lots of photoshop but still fascinating and fun to see.

I am fascinated by the Bible, so I'd probably pick Lucifer or Jesus or one of the Apostles. I'd put them in an historical setting and then in a modern one and see what I could do.

Who would you pick?




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Iscariotau
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Jan 19, 2015 19:47 |  #7

I'd probably go for a lessor known figure such as Lilith or Gilgamesh. While not specifically new testament they are of Hebrew origins and would make a unique subject.


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SkyBaby
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Jan 19, 2015 23:12 |  #8

Not that I have the means to travel half away around the world for a real location shoot lol, but I'd love to photograph Jesus. Take a series of Him interacting with people like what many artists show in paintings. That idea posted above of true to the times pictures, then a modern setting sounds really cool. As was mentioned, Photoshop can go a really long way towards that.

I also really want to do a set of David and Goliath. Tricky camera angles to make people taller than they really are, although the model playing part of Goliath would be a tall, big guy to begin with at least as I envision him.

Something else I would do is stay true to the ethnic origins of whatever historical figure chosen, as well. Much more realistic that way, if realism is the goal.

OP, you've planted this bug in my head and given me something fun to think about while I fall asleep. I just may have to make this thing happen some time.


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Rainyday
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Jan 20, 2015 08:41 |  #9

So true! It's important to stay historically accurate. Yeah, I want to try this someday too but it's a long way off.




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samsen
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by samsen. 3 edits done in total.
Jan 20, 2015 19:39 |  #10

Pekka wrote in post #17390304external link
It would be interesting to pick some really popular historical figures and do some very realistic and accurate (to the period) environmental portraits. It would require a lots of props, clothing, makeup, location scouting: basically the same effort and requirements if you were to shoot a movie scene. Photoshop could help a lot of course.

Another very interesting and rewarding line of action is to use your photography tools and capabilities but follow the pattern of a famous & distinct artist from past, to the extend that final images are indistinct from original work of that artist. Say try to replicated the portrait images and style of Rembrandt with the same distinct light that shines from back, over right shoulder, angled to the left of subject with signature shadow of nose on the left upper lips and same distinct dresses of the subject to the period with overall dull colors...

But then back to the topic of this thread, I would like to share a story and that is specially in relation to my good old memories of Yale University (Being a very proud graduate of it myself). If you ever come to New Havens and take the tour of Yale university, you will come to know two things that probably never knew before. 1st of all, the Name of a major University is usually given because of its founder who contribute the major finance in making up the place or somehow builds the foundation. The person who did the major contribution in creation of Yale was Jeremiah Dummer. Not Mr Yale. Dummer was so wise that didn't want his graduates have any embracement of calling themselves Graduates of Dummer collage! So generously he let the name of a popular merchant of that time that had seen world from Madras in India to New worlds and that contribute a very small financial aids (Insignificant to say the least) and a few pictures to collage, by the name Elihu Yale, to go with his collage, that later is to be called one of the most prestigious universities of USA if not the World, with a largest number of American Presidents being the graduates of this collage (Including Possibly Hillary soon).
Then on the tour of prestigious yard, you will come across a status of one of the most famous, brave Americans that I am not going to name but if I say his words, even school going kids will name him. The statue is of young very handsome man (He died very early). He was a student of Yale and when he died in his early 20s, till the time that his statue was to be build, about 140 years later, no body remembered how he looked. After all on those days there was no way to capture someone's pictures except very elite and lucky members of the society that might get once in a life time chance of getting their picture drawn by spending a fortune on a local painter. Well the artist commissioned to make the statue had no clue as to how to create him and ultimately they got hold of the most good looking freshman student of that year in Yale and the statue that is erected on his memory currently (Including few replica of it, one ironically placed in front of CIA headquarter) are all belongs to someone who lived one an half century later and not the hero himself...

Well there is a lot to learn here and probably the essence is This is the duty of art creator / historian to create what would appeal most suitable to the situation to provide all needed features of a significant person, with embedded right characters rather than what should be historically correct figure. If you are familiar with Hollywood, you know they say "God is not a good director in choosing the right characters or right scenes, most of the time"!

As for your plane, Rainyday, you need to look into that particular time and period and geographic location. A lot of real facts are clear right there. Well there was no easy razor to shave frequently, so a commoner would have long hair and beard. If a person is a Sheppard, spending long time outdoor under natural harsh elements of location, would be expected to have say rough skin with a deep tan. A person of unique distinction such as Jesus, would have profound charm beyond the expectations, so strong face, kind patient temper and a unique appealing facial and body features are clearly the correct way of history. Location and period leads to right way of dressing that might be most correctly curved into stones of that period, now available in museums or historical buildings of that period. Rest is all creator's creation and not what reality was. If this creation is successful, it would be Widely and more importantly, Easily acceptable by masses who know little about the character.

I guess you can find you right fuel in this way and what you create could be very interesting. Please share that with us here, if this project gets to move forward and best wishes.


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Xyclopx
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Jun 01, 2015 14:49 |  #11

just wanted to say (and you might have avoided this subject to stay within the rules) but you probably realize that this is an opportunity to go outside of simply making a cool picture. in addition to what samsen says about what jesus theoretically would have looked like given the physical environment of the time at which you wish to picture him, i think in picking someone like jesus vs any other historical picture you just cannot avoid religious interpretation. so might as well make the most of it. that's when photography transcends--when there is meaning.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Jun 02, 2015 07:14 |  #12

Pekka wrote in post #17390304external link
...popular historical figures and do some very realistic and accurate (to the period) environmental portraits. It would require a lots of props, clothing, makeup, location scouting: basically the same effort and requirements if you were to shoot a movie scene. Photoshop could help a lot of course.

I can't imagine the work (and expense!) to accurately recreate accurate historical settings to Jesus' time. But another problem in itself would be the use of photoshop. You're not going to find photography from that time period for open use. Anything you find may have been done by an artist / painter, the use of which opens copyright problems. Ultimately, even artificially creating background scenery may necessitate commissioning an artist. Adding that to the makeup, period clothing and more that is needed would create one heck of a project.


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Rainyday
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Jun 03, 2015 20:07 |  #13

Well, another way to tackle it is to create Jesus against a modern setting. There are several novels that explore this idea, and they are interesting to read. So, you would photograph your model in ordinary clothing, perhaps walking along a rural road with his disciples.

Anyway, it's a project I'm going to attempt when I'm retired. It's going to be complex and interesting, so I want to give my full attention.




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olafs ­ osh
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Jun 04, 2015 03:57 |  #14

It's actually pretty interesting. Especially in modern setting. That would be easier to create simply from a resource point of view, props, cost, as well as how to interpret ideas/stories in new environment.

Kudos.

p.s. please restrain yourself from using such words as "historically accurate" - that is sometimes the way to get your thread highjacked. it tickled me for sure ;]


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 11, 2016 00:09 |  #15

.

Rainyday wrote in post #17390376 (external link)
If you were to do a speculative enviromental portrait of a famous historical person, who would you pick? The trick is to pick somebody that has no photographs in existence. So, you could do Washington but not Lincoln.

Rainyday wrote in post #17390376 (external link)
I am fascinated by the Bible..........

Me too!

Rainyday wrote in post #17390376 (external link)
Who would you pick?

Probably Delilah, the temptress.
Also Sarai, Abraham's wife. She was so beautiful that Abraham was afraid that he might be slain out of jealousy, so he lied and claimed that she was his sister.
I imagine that Bathsheba would also make for some top-rate model material.


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