2 Portraits- Fingerprints

Genes alone cannot account for what a person is, but even the slightest distinguishing traits between people can be attributed to individual genes. About 99.9 percent of the DNA of every person on the planet is exactly the same. It’s that 0.1 percent that is different that makes us all unique. I am interested in the 0.1 percent.

People all have slight changes to their biology, making each person individual and unique. Some differences between people include teeth, hair (DNA), fingerprints etc. These differences and other forms of identification are often used to aid police investigations, as each person is different it can be used to identify an individual.


Information from: http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/why-people-have-unique-fingerprints 

With billions of people on the planet, no two sets of fingerprints are identical. Simple human fingerprints display the kind of randomness of which computers can only dream.

Even identical twins have unique fingerprints, because development of fingerprints is both genetically and environmentally influenced. All people are born with fingerprints — we evolved the nifty grooves and swirls on our fingers so it would be easier to grip things. But the way the prints turn out for each person is entirely unique, thanks to a lot of random occurrences, such as a foetus’s position in the womb and the disposition of the amniotic fluid; such random factors determine how each ridge on a fingerprint will form.

They’ve proved to be a pretty reliable form of identification, fitting well within the broader area of biometric security (which includes systems based on fingerprints, iris recognition and facial recognition, to name a few). Presenting human, physical evidence of who you are tends to make for a much more reliable security system. After all, it’s relatively easy to get a fake ID card, but it’s extremely hard to fake a physical trait such as a fingerprint. Similarly, you can guess someone’s password, but you can’t guess somebody’s fingerprint, much less present it as your own. Furthermore, your physical characteristics are always with you, while you could lose an ID card. And, finally, while passwords are easy to forget, you can’t really forget to bring your fingerprints.

Fingerprint copy

To me fingerprints are a great form of identity, as each is individual to a person and cannot be copied or changed. They are a true form of biological identity and someone’s true identity. I want to look into photographing fingerprints as I feel that these represent a person well; they ‘tell’ the viewer about each individuals DNA as well as environmental aspects of a person’s life. I will need to photograph them to show them as true as possible, not losing any detail as then they would not be representing a personas true identity.


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