Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

The Grace Of Nuance: Dan Winters

Another helping from the excellent Faded + Blurred, this time the wonderful portraits by Dan Winters

Some people might say that Dan Winters has an amazing photographic style, that you can tell at first glance if he took a particular photograph. His signature lighting style, the red and green tones he uses and the dramatic expressions he gets from his subjects are all part of how he shoots. He would say it is more of a sensibility than a style, however, saying that a style relates more to the technique and materials used. A sensibility would be what you bring to every shoot no matter where it is or what tools you use. Whether you call it a style or a sensibility, though, you can’t deny Dan Winters is an artist.

I found Dan Winters’ work fairly recently. I think the first image I saw of his was his portrait of Tupac Shakur. Even though Tupac wasn’t looking into the camera, I found the image mesmerizing. Image after image in Winters’ portfolio captivated me. Though he is well known as a celebrity photographer, his portraits of “regular people” are every bit as engaging and are treated with the same level of care and reverence, a word Winters uses often to describe his work. “I like the word reverent for portraits”, he says “and I think we need more of that reverence for people and for their own experience and their own path and the way that they’re represented.” Though I am not a portrait photographer, if I were, I would love to be able to take the kind of portraits that Dan Winters takes; portraits you can get lost in. I love that Winters avoids the stereotypical “look at me, I’m famous” celebrity portrait. Rather, he tries to do something purposeful, something unique. Whether he’s catching Stevie Wonder without his glasses or carrying Sandra Bullock on his shoulders to place her in a tide pool or capturing Brad Pitt playing Rock Band. Each photograph reflects not only the time and effort he puts in, but also his profound love of the creative process. With his years of experience it would be easy for him to just stick with what he knows and make every shot the same, but he takes each portrait assignment as a very personal challenge…..READ MORE

 

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