Saturday, June 11, 2011

Barron Claiborne: Saints, Beauties and Goddesses


It's not easy to create a great photograph. Even when you're lucky enough to get celebrities to sit for you, you still have to get the right combination of equipment, lighting and concept that is suitable for your subject. When you have all of those, you get a good picture, but when you add another layer of creativity, you get a really great photograph. That last layer seems to be what photographer Barron Claiborne always has in his portraiture work.


Mr. Claiborne is a self taught photographer who has photographed celebrities and politicians since the 1990s. His best known work is probably that of the portrait of The Notorious B.I.G. (above). This was one of the rapper's last formal portrait shoots before his untimely death.

While Mr. Claiborne has an impressive portfolio of advertising and editorial clients, it's his portraiture and artistic work that really stands out. He has a number of interesting projects that show of his creativity in the use of special camera equipment for his photo shoots.


Just like artist Chuck Close, Mr. Claiborne is able to achieve his style through his use of old photographic processes. He sometimes uses large format cameras and has also experimented with 8x10 Polaroid film. This experimentation gives some of his images a sepia or bronze like texture.

In his Saints project, he combines the symbols, rituals and familiar images of Christian and African beliefs into a beautiful series that pays homage to both sources while at the same time evokes questions in the viewer.




His Beauty series shows off true and stereotypical images of models in very white and sometimes blown-out light. The images are miles apart from his other predominantly dark photographs.


In Goddesses, women are placed on a pedestal and against an intricate wall mural. They are nude save for a few accessories as if signify that their physical beauty is one, if not the only reason that they are held in such a high regard.


This kind of style can also be found in his portraiture work as well, although what really gives his images that special edge over other photographers are the expressions that he is able to coax out of his subjects. These images would work whether they were taken with a modern full frame DSLR or an old large format camera.



Barron Claiborne hasn't yet published a collection of his works, but be sure to check out more of his large format photography over at his website.

42 comments:

bb31 said...

any original photo of biggie is a win

Astronomy Pirate said...

B.I.G. looks golden yet tired. The rest of them all look pretty powerful too.

princy gupta said...

nice work!!!

Rob said...

Those are some amazing photos

Daniel said...

Amazing!

Fang said...

His beauty series looks very light. I kind of like that style, to be honest.

Dave said...

Thats a lovely selection of pics. Very professional and full of character. Great post.

Dejch said...

great portraits as usual!

dailyamusive said...

That dark-light juxtaposition was stunning in and of itself. Interesting bokeh on the 3rd shot as well.Unfortunately I know nothing about theory or composition; good things to learn though! Will be staying tuned sir.

Triper said...

nice!

Shutterbug said...

Nice collection of photos. I like the concept of kings + goddesses.

Jacob said...

amazing pictures.. as always, thanky for sharing!

r.alsharif said...

I love the shadowing in Biggies picture!

ed said...

he should photograph tosin abasi

D4 said...

Digging the variety,, you can really feel him put himself out there to get great results.

AllenTesch said...

Self taught? Wow.

Notorious P.I.G said...

I love the ICONIC photo of Biggie! I've seen that photo in about a million places! Biggie was an ugly mofo, but that picture kinda made him more appealing to the eye!

Jack of Diamonds said...

I love that pic of biggie! Great post!

Generally Disgruntled said...

I recognize a lot of those photos. A lot of them have become part of pop culture themselves. Like the portrait of Biggie

Trolske said...

Wow, the Beauty serie looks great Oo

Rob said...

Those are some amazing pictures :D

Jaccstev said...

Shiny! Those are some of the very impressive selections.

Moobeat said...

Very awesome

pv said...

whoa those are some awesome photos

Bart said...

guilty...

jblogger45 said...

i love it when they call me big poppa
biggie ftw haha

thenitefalls said...

Biggie is lookin like a pimp :D and I'm liking the beauty series too!

Major.Mack said...

I want a crown like that

Speedy Ed said...

wow u really got some good photos posted here, some of the greats

MRanthrope said...

Biggie Smalls portrait..the image that launched 1000 t-shirts.

Banacek said...

I find the Saints project to be the most interesting.

Marian said...

those are actually really good!

duffboi said...

These are very cool and varied photos. He's got real talent.

Malkavian said...

Damn, this man has talent and self taught impressive and Amazing photos

Biff Tanner said...

Yeah get it!

randomer said...

Very cool pictures, that crown is pretty sweet.

Electric Addict said...

fantastic photographs

Ryan said...

SIQ POST BRO!!!!

Dale said...

What cool photos, Biggie looks kinda sad or maybe the crown is just really heavy. The nude ones are done so artistically and they're all really unique. I like the last two photos a lot!
Dale

Necroticism said...

Wow, I didn't expect this. It is really good!

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