Deconstructions, Inspirations, life style, Photographers, Photography

Deconstruction of a Portrait

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As I have developed a recent liking towards portraits, yesterday I googled “Best portrait photographers” and found this portrait (below). I was dumbstruck by the perfection that this photograph carried. Everything is in harmony. It’s been more than 24 hours now and I am yet to free myself from the spell it cast. Guess what? This has even become my smart phone’s wallpaper.  So deconstruction of a portrait is all I could think of.

1 Original

I guess you already felt the awesomeness in it. Let’s explore some features from my perspective.


1. Let’s start with the eyes.

1 Tribal Portrait Eyes

The Eyes – two identical quadrilaterals, Shall we call them as parallelograms?


2. Let’s look at the nose.

2 Tribal Portrait Nose

The Nose – one isosceles triangle or should I say a partial quadrilateral?


3. And the lips.

3 Tribal Portrait Lips

Lips – a rhombus which is a quadrilateral family too. Wow! This is just getting better.


4. Eyes, Nose and Lips … hmm, now let’s look at the face as a whole.

4 Tribal Portrait face

Face – an upside down isosceles triangle or again a partial quadrilateral.


5. Having noted all that, let us move on to the most important part – the ear drops.

5 Tribal Portrait Ear drops

Aren’t those ear drops part of the quadrilateral family too?


The forms above in the portrait are real and we human minds do not look for perfection in them but the harmony and the effective use of spaces.

This is a simple straight faced photograph but what exactly makes this stand out from the crowd? Simple! It is unique as the photographer, Jimmy Nelson, found this “almost perfect” face and has recorded it forever.

Someday, when I encounter Jimmy Nelson, I would like to ask him the below questions:

1. How far did you travel to find this face and what exactly led you to her?
2. Just out of curiosity, why have you not kept the aspect ratio as 16:9 or 16:10, where I feel the photograph would have been much more powerful? Sorry about this question but I very much look forward to your answer.
3. Did you make the background (a dark shade) available or was it there by default?
4. Did she originally wear those ear drops or did you have them arranged specially for the portrait?
5. How about the lighting? Was it artificial or available by default?

Thanks Jimmy for giving the world another masterpiece to ponder upon.

Disclaimer 1: The copyrights of the above portrait remains with the photographer Jimmy Nelson or whomsoever he has transferred it to.

Disclaimer 2: The deconstruction of the above portrait is purely from the author’s perspective.

About the author / 

Navanee Viswa

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