Background as context

We are  asked to make a portrait of someone we know, making sure that the background says something about who they are. We should be very particular about posing the subject and what we include in the photograph. I decided to make an image of my partner in our study (we share), and hope that it will be clear what is his field of work. He is shown working on his iPad, with his phone on the table beside him. This pose is entirely natural and on most days he can be found in exactly the same position at some point. _1480833-Edit-Edit It was an interesting exercise for a number of reasons, which I have bullet-pointed below.

  • background in/out of focus? In, because the titles of the books are informative
  • Framing? How close to crop in order to keep unnecessary items out of sight.
  • What to include by way of props? The iPad and phone were a no-brainer here.
  • Angle of shoot? I decided to go for a 3/4 pose. The reasons for this include the available light from windows and rooflights as I used only natural light, and to indicate a casual, unaware pose. In reality, the subject was very aware of what I was doing and I had told him where and how to sit while I tested different camera angles. The background shelves and cupboards were a bit of a problem because the shot  was not straight on, which meant that distortion of the lines was somewhat difficult to correct.

Overall, I am happy that this is an honest and informative image of a person I know well.


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