With a personal space and specific time and lighting, a photographer can allow the viewer to really see a person through a picture. Bill Brandt has this gift as you can clearly see in "Bill Brandt: Portraits." The mood and severity of lighting and the way it touches the face or hides part of it is very thoughtful in the way it's cast. The high contrast gives a hint of mystery and even darkness to some photographs. It reveals a specific mood that lets the viewer now what this person is feeling or how the photo makes the viewer feel. These portraits have a private quality arising from their setting home, office, etc. Brandt captures a moment of deep thought through dramatic eyes a more serious facial expression. He finds the time to let his subjects relax and truly reveal themselves to him.
Brandt's subjects were all people of interest to him. Each was an expressive person ( such as Pablo Picasso) creating established art, poems, music, and philosophies. They were unique thinkers who opened themselves up to the camera and to Brandt. He photographed them in their own creative environments and interacted with them. He also experimented with how close he got to his subject. There are some beautiful close-ups of eyes in this book. The lovely texture in weathered faces suggests what a lifetime is and what it meant to be this person. Boundaries were pushed in this extreme close up portrait of a man and his eye. You are forced to look directly at the soul and find the intensities that come along in one's life.
Brandt's ability to capture this moment of creative thought is strong throughout this book. He paid attention to every detail, the background, the frame, and definitely lighting. He considered what all these things would say about the portrait. Each person looks so natural and confident in their positioning.