2 Portraits- Testing

From spending time researching about fingerprints and looking at photographers’ work, I was influenced with my own work and so began testing different idea that I could use for my final images.

I started by taking influence from my research into close up photography, by using a macro lens; the photographic outcomes show body parts in greater detail, often that would not be noticed normally when looking at a person. I liked the idea of how this method allows the viewer to see greater detail of the fingerprints I am photographing, therefore they would be able to see the differences in each different fingerprint and how all are unique, representing everyone’s own biological identity.

I tried taking some photographs of fingerprints using a macro lens, however I found that due to the curve of the finger, it was hard to get all the fingerprint in focus. Some of the detail can be seen, showing the lines and textures of the fingerprints, however I wanted to show the whole fingerprint so that when looking at two fingerprints, the viewer can see the differences and how each is unique.



As I found that using a close up lens to take the fingerprint straight of the finger, I then decided to take influence from the CSI method of fingerprinting using ink, to leave the shape and lines of a fingerprint but on a flat surface such as paper. I experimented with printing onto paper using ink, finding that you had to get the perfect amount of ink onto the finger to get a good print, too much ink and the fingerprint would just come out black with no detail, and too little ink, the print was too faint and the detail couldn’t be seen.



If the right amount of ink was used, the print came out very well, showing enough detail of the fingerprint, with the lines and textures. I centred my photographs so that the fingerprint was in the middle and main focus, taking influence from Steve Pyke and Paul Smith, this enabled the viewer to have a clear view of the print, showing all the detail and how each is unique. As with my previous photographs I used a macro lens to shoot my prints, I found that because the surface was flat, more detail could be seen and more of the photograph was in focus. It was very hard to get the print completely in focus, but using a tripod and remote shutter release, I tried to eliminate as much blur from the photograph as possible.

Developing on from my idea of using printing of fingerprints to show the detail of each finger and how they are all unique, I decided to experiment with printing the fingerprints onto tissue paper and then holding them up to the light to illuminate and highlight the fingerprint further.


Although this method did highlight the fingerprint, it also highlighted the texture and materials in the tissue paper, and so I think I will just print onto paper for my final prints, but I will make sure that both fingerprints are as detailed and clear as possible.

For my two final photographs I plan on using the ink printing method to show the viewer the lines and textures of each fingerprint, highlighting how they are different and all unique. I will print onto paper, making sure that both prints are strong and clear, meaning that all the detail can be seen so they are true representations of the fingerprints. This method also links into the idea of real life processes of categorisation of people using fingerprints as a form of biological identity, and showing how each print is unique and individual to a person. I will have both prints centred and use black ink on white paper; this will allow no distraction from the subject and enable the viewer to make a true comparison between the two prints. Using a macro lens I will capture the two prints in good detail, highlighting the shape of each fingerprint, and showing the viewer detail that they wouldn’t see in a normal portrait photograph.


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