I read, when I read, quite a lot of photographic history. I get exposed to a lot of old photographs, therefore.
Man, portraits then look nothing like portraits now. I think we've definitely lost something along the way. Not only
do I like the vintage style pictures just plain more (that is, I think they're flat out better) we've lost a lot of vocabulary
along the way.
Now the only question is what appears behind the sitter. Is it out of focus? And by how much?
There's no question of whether the sitter's face should be sharp. Of course it is. You have to nail the focus on the eyes or your
picture IS A FAILURE. You can't bury stuff in shadows, especially not parts of the subject! You have to fix the skin! You MUST! It's
no GOOD if you don't fix the skin!
To that end, I have been practicing, off and on, producing things that look vintage. Yeah, yeah, it's a bit twee, a bit overdone.
And yet, it's not done at all, except in stupid Olde Weste Portraite Studioes where everyone has hastily donned ill-fitting period
garb and is mugging like an idiot.
My four year old (mugging). Olde and Newe.
Olde obviously has the advantage that you can conceal a host of sins. But I'll be damned if I don't just like it better, too.