f/1.8, 1/1600, ISO-200, 50mm

I am very fortunate to know a couple of lovely young people who are willing to stand in front of my camera while I desperately (and sometimes I think in vain) try to teach myself some of the fundamentals of portrait photography. They do this for no more reason than that I ask them to, and I try not to take undo advantage of their kindness. I last worked with them a year ago and one of the photos I took of them continues to be among my favorites to this day, though there is much that is technically wrong with it.

This photo is one of my recent shoot that I think I did particularly well at. He is relaxed and has a wonderful expression. It is sharp, and he is posed pretty well (head tilted to the masculine side, for example). That being said, it has its issues. I’m not convinced I chose entirely the best background for this portrait…an abandoned building. I had him in front of a broken out window, and I realized after the fact that the top of the window goes right across his head. Now, I don’t have any official source for this feeling, but I suspect a real portrait photographer would have said that the lintel needs to be above his head, not through it.

I tried to compensate for this compositional error by darkening the background considerably, which is probably a good idea in any case since the background was also much busier than makes for a good portrait, despite my attempts to make it extra fuzzy.

Anyway, expect to see more of this young man in the next few days, as well as the young lady who was kind enough to work with me as well.

This entry was posted in Natural Lighting, Photography, Portrait and tagged , .


  1. michaeltuuk May 12, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    As shown here (darkened), I think it’s perfectly fine with the head and frame intersecting. It might be a distraction if the contrast b/w the wall and the interior of the building were really high. Even then…rules were made to be broken. It -is- something which should always be considered when composing but it’s not -automatically- a bad shot IMO if you do as above, put the horizon through the subject, or have a pole/tree sticking out of their head.

    • AJBopp May 12, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      thank you very much Michael for taking the time. That was very valuable input for me, and is much appreciated.

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