Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Project 1: Portrait, scale & setting

Four scales of portrait in one session:
  • Face cropped in close
  • Head and shoulders
  • Torso, taking into account arms and hands
  • Full figure

    These were taken recently for an urban styled photoshoot with a model and make-up artist, on London's Southbank. The location was chosen to provide a vibrant backdrop and the challenge for me was to try to prevent it from becoming the main focal point. I moved the model around to alter the background and varied the distance between her and the walls to enable me to throw them out of focus. I recently acquired an 85mm 1.8 lens and this was my first outing with it. I used available light and a silver reflector for the close-up shots.

    What have I learned?
    Image 1 - In this shot I found a way to make the eyes prominent (with the aid of make-up) even when the model is looking away from the camera.
    Image 2 - In order to keep the eyes prominent, I have blurred the foreground whilst cropping the background to a minimum. I usually concentrate on simply throwing the background out of focus, but this photoshoot really made think about different ways to use it.
    Image 3 - In this shot I was trying to provide some separation from the background by using a section of wall that contrasted with the model's clothing. I also angled the camera to produce some leading lines.
    Image 4 - I debated whether to try and lose the detail in the background of this shot and finally settled on this with only a slightly soft background. Both myself and the model ran out of ideas with regard to the placement of hands. I didn't want the hands hanging limply by her sides, but found hands on hips or hands held up to the head becoming quite repetitive.

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