This exercise involved situating a model at some distance from the background and using a wide aperture, slight telephoto focal length and a viewpoint close to subject to take a portrait photograph giving a flattering, slight compression to the features, and a shallow depth of field to separate the subject from background.
I am not used to doing portrait shots and I found it quite difficult to read the light. I took a couple of shots indoors that did not flatter my model and since I felt that this was largely because of the harsh shadows I changed my location and tried an outdoor shot that I think worked a lot better.
I actually had never taken a portrait shot before and since I don’t like having my own photograph taken, I was acutely aware of respecting my subject and I checked with her that she was happy with my photograph before publishing it here. I was reminded of Les Monaghan’s commitment to fairness and the contrast of his work with that of Bruce Gilden who takes his photographs of people indiscriminately and without their consent.
I am pleased with this as my first portrait; the narrow depth of field results in a background that doesn’t compete with the subject for attention, while providing a pleasing backdrop.