What is a PORTRAIT?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Tomwilllight, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    I'm growing tired of the use of the term "portrait" to describe what we create. A "portrait" is hung on a wall and static. A "portrait" does not move... it does not change... and it is commonly accepted as referring to a representation of a PERSON.

    If we are ever going to be accepted as the artists the best of us are, we need to understand the importance of the meanings of the words we use to describe our work.


    Portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. For this reason, in photography a portrait is generally not a snapshot, but a composed image of a person in a still position. A portrait often shows a person looking directly at the painter or photographer, in order to most successfully engage the subject with the viewer.

    Does this in any way describe what we do?

  2. J Larson

    J Larson Inactive
    Posts: 25

    I prefer to call it "living art"...
  3. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284


    That's a really good start!

    Are there other ways to describe what we do in a meaningful/ Tweetie kind of way?

  4. steveparrott

    steveparrott Sponsor
    Posts: 1,196

    Tom, I agree, portrait is not a good word for us. Even "painting with light" doesn't do the work justice. Painting is a one-time event - it doesn't convey the constantly changing play of light and shadow in the evolving landscape.

    The lighting designer injects light sources into a landscape. This starts a process of luminous creation that changes every evening, that brings ever-new visual experiences. Truly remarkable - a creative process of renewal, rediscovery, and evolving relationship.

    Hard to put words to what landscape lighting designers do. Maybe, "Creating living works of light".
  5. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284


    I like "Creating living works of light" too!

    Are there more ways to describe what we do out there?

  6. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,460

    Creating an Illumination seems fitting. I read from that, more than something simply lit up. Rather something with a majestic presence to it.

    Yeah? No?
  7. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,113

    Lighting scene, visual ambiance, dramatic evening presentation, curb appeal, neighbor envy, eye candy..... I am quickly digressing
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Alan B

    Alan B Sponsor
    Posts: 420

    I have always thought great lighting creates an a great atmosphere. Each situation may warrant a different atmosphere, but in the end a great designer not only matches the lighting to the need, but in the end creates an atmosphere and mood that enhances the property.
  9. Tomwilllight

    Tomwilllight LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 284

    Alan, that's a good summary of design intention. Perhaps you'd consider adding something about the client in your statement.

    This is fun... Any more good ideas out there?

  10. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,754

    "Composition" i.e. the harmonious arrangement of the parts of a work of art in relation to each other and the whole.

    So how about a "lighting composition" or a "lighted composition" ?

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