Portraits and Self Portraits

Date: 11.19.18

Location: Minneapolis, MN

Practical 3


This assignment was a lot of fun - I tried to use the different prime lenses I have to my advantage to get different looks. (35mm, 50mm, 85mm). Of course I roped in my friends (David & Spencer) and girlfriend (Rita) to get these pictures last week.

The Candid Portrait was taken on a 35mm wide open (at f1.4) which gave me some amazing results. It might be unconventional for portraits - but this lens really shined in that setting. It gave extra emphasis to the depth in the image while making the subject feel very close and intimate.

The Formal Portrait - I shot it on an 85mm prime lens and was achieved ambient lighting (one source from the side) and is one of my favorite black and white pictures I’ve ever taken.

The Environmental Portrait I kept the aperture closed down at f/8 to help keep some of the texture in the background available to see. I think it does a nice job of bringing out Spencer’s attitude.

The Self Portrait was the most difficult one and this was the best I could do. I put the camera on a tripod and shot it at 85mm. I think I could do better here - but I have very little experience shooting myself. Next time I might try for a wider lens and an environment with more depth.

I added another shot for fun because I liked it so much - again shot at 35mm Full Frame of David looking into the lens with his sunglasses on. Typically I wouldn’t shoot portraits at 35mm but this lens wide open just looks too good to not try it.

I think this exercise really helping me understand lighting and seeing the world through a monochrome lens. The focus is more on contrast rather than color and makes for some interesting choices while filming.

DGMD E-9: Fundamentals of Digital Photography