TAKING QUICK PORTRAITSWill, all set for the prom. Photo copyright (c) Jim Doty, Jr.
I was taking a short water break from mowing my lawn and I noticed Will's sister was having trouble with her camera. I would rather take pictures than mow, so I went to grab my camera. Will was all ready to leave for the prom and we only had a couple of minutes to do a few casual portraits (the style
of the portraits is casual, certainly not the clothes). This one is his favorite.
I wanted some soft light and my front porch is perfect for this late in the afternoon on a sunny day. Enough light bounces into the porch area to give some definition to the face but still avoids all the problems of shooting in direct sunlight.
Will is turned at a slight angle to the camera, but he is following me with his eyes. This is the way I usually prefer to do portraits. If the face is turned just enough so one ear disappears, the angle is just about right. I had him turn both ways so I shot his face from both sides.
His coat is slung over his shoulder so he looks very natural. This is so much better than the very stiff looking "stand with your hands at your side and face the camera."
According to the EXIF data, we took 12 photos in a little less than 2 minutes. If the subject is ready to go, looks good, feels natural in front of the camera, and the light is nice, it doesn't take too long to come up with a simple but effective portrait.
Will left for the prom and I finished mowing. Then I headed for my computer. It only took a few minutes with Photoshop and my Epson 2200 printer, and a print was in his mother's hands. Needless to say, she was pleased.
You can't see it in this reduced size web photo, but I created a thin black strike around the photo. There is a slightly larger white border around that. The outside border was created by grabbing some color from his coat.Basic Exposure Data:
Canon EOS 20D
Shooting Mode: Aperture-Priority AE
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/60
Av (Aperture Value): f/6.3
Metering Mode: Partial
ISO Speed: 400
Lens: 28.0 - 135.0 mm
Focal Length: 56.0 mm
(35mm equivalent FOV: 90 mm)
White Balance: Auto