It’s funny how one’s favourite style of portrait is the one guaranteed not to be a money earner. For me, it’s all in the eyes. If you remember my Batman with a Beard portrait (that catapulted me into the realms of being an “Award-winning photographer” (You can laugh … I am), that too was similar.
The subject’s face is straight on with the eyes barreling through the lens.
The composition is as tight as I can get it and the aperture of my favourite portrait lens, the Nikon 105mm 1.4, is set to f/1.4. This means that at the minimum focusing distance for that lens of one metre, I have a depth of field (the area of the photograph in acceptable focus) of only one centimetre front to back. I used a depth of field calculator to get that figure and it explains to me why I need to be rock steady to nail focus in the eyes. At f/1.4 and 1 metre away, even the tip of the nose is out of focus.
I’ll try to pull back on the camera nerd talk and highlight why I put myself through such stress to capture an image like this. It’s the eyes. It is all about the eyes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a shop and wish I had the courage to approach someone and ask if I can photograph them in this manner. When we watch many episodes of *insert country name* Next Top Model at home, you’ll hear me saying “Look at those eyes! I want to photograph her!”.
If I ever switch camera brands, I would keep one camera and the 105mm lens just to keep doing this kind of portrait.
Regarding this image, I’m very lucky to have a five-year-old daughter who is so used to having a camera pointed at her, that she knows what to do. It’s more a case of “If I do what he wants quickly, he’ll go away.” This was taken after a trip to the local petrol station for ice cream. Evidence of which appears both in her hand and around her mouth.
And here’s the first of probably far too many “ASD photo tips” in the future for you:
ASD Photo Tip #1: If you are having your photo taken and want to appear more connected to the photographer, don’t just look at the lens, try to look through it. If you look beyond the glass in into the mechanism of the lens, you’ll have a much better connection with the camera.
Tomorrow’s blog post is mostly written and if you work for Telstra, I’m sorry.
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Nikon AF-S Nikkor 105mm 1:1.4E ED @ 105mm
1/1250 | f/1.4 | ISO 640
Wednesday September 29, 2021 @ 16:36
Carrum Downs, Victoria, Australia