Point of View in Photographs – All in the Details

Which of these photographs are of the same person?

In teacher workshops, I often ask this deceptively simple question about the series of pictures below. Answering the question requires careful focus on details as well as careful comparison. Take a moment and study the pictures – How would you answer the question?

Which of these photographs are of the same person?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you focus on? What details did you compare? What questions do you have?

I’ve overheard participants compare cheekbones, face shape, lips, hairlines and dress details from each photograph. The debate as groups struggle to reach consensus is inevitably richly precise; inevitably somebody raises questions such as “When were these made? Were they posed? Why were they taken? What was the photographer’s purpose for taking the photos?”

What did you decide?

Post your answer in the comments. We’ll answer the question in the next post.

18 Comments

  1. Paul
    June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am

    The 1st and 2nd photo are the same person in my opinion. Why? The quality of the photo’s are similar although the subject matter is not and elude to a famous outgoing person. The 3rd image does not fit the pattern.

  2. Carol ness
    June 6, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I think they’re all of the same person, but if not 1 and 2 are 🙂 – I think!

  3. Mary Beth Bauernschub
    June 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    The one on the left and in the center are of Billie Holiday. The one on the left appears to be a publicity shot. It is very dramatic and a study in contrasts.The center one seems to be the same day. She has the same hair, make up, and dress. Perhaps it is a break from the shoot. Is the one on the right Holiday as well? Could be, but the purpose is quite different.

  4. Barbara Shetler
    June 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    All 3 are Billie Holiday 🙂

  5. Emily
    June 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I think all 3 pictures are of Billy Holliday.

  6. T. Hamby
    June 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The left and middle are the same person because they both have an upbeat, warm, passionate feeling of involvement with the here and now of life. The third, even though it has a sculptural image within it, the tone of it is analytical, speculative, maybe even a little fear of the object being held. And, the first purely visual clue that the first two are the same person is the hairdo which is voluminous, accentuated in the second by the flowers. In the third image the hair is pulled tight which adds to the tightly held feeling in that image.

  7. Peggy
    June 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I think it is 2 and 4. They have the same eyes.

  8. Hannah
    June 6, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    I think they’re all three the same because her eyebrows and nose look the same in all three pictures. She has a similar hair do, and the dress and earrings look the same in the first two. I’m pretty sure the first two are the same; not as sure about number three but she looks close to the same. (I’m in the 7th grade.)

  9. Annie B
    June 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    They are all Billie Holliday

  10. Larry
    June 6, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    All three are Billie Holiday:lips, eyebrows, nose…not to mention that these pics are on the web. The first shot is from Downbeat, not sure about the second, but both were taken by Bill Gottlieb. (See his website for other great jazz figures.) The third is from the photographer Carl Vechten. She is such an iconic figure that it’s almost too easy….and the dog in the second shot was hers….

  11. Bill Pavesic
    June 7, 2012 at 5:21 am

    All three are Billie Holiday. Third, obviously, was taken in her later years to show that she had other interests and passions in her life.

  12. cheryl ann bolden
    June 7, 2012 at 6:30 am

    All the images are of Billie Holiday” Lady Day” sound coming from deep inside, home girl with Mister, and compare and contract pose reflecting on herself as an African American. I believe the last 2 were taken by Carl Van Vechten.

  13. Leslie Ann Seegobin
    June 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I think the first two are the same person, the dress looks the same, the hairstyle the same and and the neck and jawline are what I considered,

  14. A.Prof.MOSSAYYEB SAMANIAN
    June 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    if you care fully all pictures in visit the first time the pictures are very same.you can study about the history of take of the picture it is sertainly methods for recognizing and the model dress and hair after the diagnosise the history of picures are carefully

  15. alice
    June 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    In my opinion they all correspond to the same lady. Their lips, cheeks and specially their nostrils look the same. I also find the same gesture (of a sensitive woman) in all of them

  16. Mary Carlson
    June 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    I saw the pictures all reflecting the same person. I believe the grouping is to point out the complexity of this individual. Obviously she is a singer who has outside interests, such as being a dog lover and/or owner as well as having an interest in art.

    It is interesting to note the change in hairstyle on the far right photo, which is another indicator that all of us wear more than one face–literally and figuratively. Also, the photo on the right side is more serious because she is not smiling or performing for the camera. The tightly pulled-back hairstyle complements this serious tone reflecting another aspect of her personality.

  17. Billie Holiday
    November 23, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Oh, For God’s sake! All three are of Billie Holiday. Get yourself straight now.

  18. joe teft
    September 23, 2014 at 1:58 am

    If you click on the photo it says Billie Holiday, so I imagine they are all of the same person.

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