John Rankin Waddell (commonly known as “Rankin”) is a British Portrait and fashion photographer. He was born in Scotland in 1966. At the age of 21, Rankin stopped his study of accountancy and instead moved on to a much more artistic life of photography. From here, he studied photography at London College of Printing in order to pursue his life as a photographer. He, along with Jefferson Hack, created a magazine known as Dazed and Confused when they have graduated.
He takes portrait photographs of people, as well as fashion. For his portrait work, he would simply focus on using a plain background, normally with a single colour of choice, in order to show the true purpose of his photo. To focus on the person within the photograph. Sometimes, he may use backgrounds which are natural, but with this, he intends to blur the background in order to make the photograph unleash the details of the person being taken a photo of and not the background details which will just literally ruin a photo.
Rankin takes portrait pictures of different people to show a certain story or background detail within them. Though he may simply take a picture of Ricky Gervais having multiple arrows literally bombarded on him, he creates focus within the actual person on the photograph.
The rules of simplicity definitely apply within his work as he takes photos of people without using detailed backgrounds or anything that will rough up the image. He may though, sometimes use detailed backgrounds as a means of getting a foreground interest. A good example is his photo of Robert Downey Jr. He uses a background but blurs it in order to make the photo become more focused on Downey himself rather than the leaves or the house at the back. Though interesting, I believe using such a background makes Downey’s portrait photo less interesting as it creates a collision with the photo itself. This also applies to his photo of Emma Watson (Hermione hehehe).
I also love how he manages to make a simple picture look very interesting as well as being humurous at the same time by using props. He defamiliarizes his photos by using such props. I mean really, would you see Ricky Gervais, in a Boxing suit, with arrows stabbing him yet him still laughing? Or would you see Emma Watson as a devilish girl in the Harry Potter series?
Well, overall I really can relate to how Rankin creates his photos, especially the ones I have chosen. It creates such a powerful image because the people literally are able to act out feelings as well as the photographer being able to take a simple shot to create a story or background detail.
Mario Testino is a Peruvian Photographer who was born in October 1954. He is famous for many of his fashion photographs, but he is very well known for his photographs of Dianna, Princess of Wales and her sons. He also takes pictures of other actresses such as Emma Watson and Kate Moss.
He is the eldest of eleven children whose father was an Italian and whose mother was Irish. He studied at University of the Pacific (translated from Universidad del Pacifico); Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and the University of San Diego.
Testino's work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums around the world, most notably at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2002 and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid in 2010. He has also been featured in a number of television documentaries.
On 5 July 2010 an exhibition of Testino's work was launched in London at the Phillips de Pury & Co auction house with a private view that played host to many of the celebrities he is famous for shooting, including Kate Moss and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Mario Testino has a very vague resemblance on his work with that of Rankin (they both have portrait images which have different feelings into it), but, unlike Rankin, Testino has a much more different approach to his portrait photographs.
First the rules. Again, simplicity itself is presented within his image, but with simplicity, he also mixes a variety of colours. Unlike Rankin who used the natural colours around him, Testino used different colour base in order to produce his work. He also uses natural colours, but at times, he uses a single base colour and having different shades of it. For example, the common black and white photographs which were famous back in the 1800’s is used quite often. Like Madame Yevonde, I would say Testino himself likes to experiment with colours, not in a manner of applying it to a photo, but rather making a photo look much more unique and also have a certain feel into it. A good photo to explain this is the photo of Emma Watson yet again. On her photo, Testino used a red base colour, then he used different shades of the red to make the photo look like it was taken from a sunset. The clothings also help with this as it allows the photo to relate to the feeling.
Though I would say the use of such colours can have its drawbacks as the photo may represent something different. Also, with the colours, sometimes the base colour may not be the best base colour for certain people, black and white may suit Princess Dianna but I think having the natural colours is far more effective.
Overall, again another great photographer. With this person, I can relate to the way in which he uses colours in order to represent certain events or emotions.