I have been asked to select my longest focal length and compose a portrait shot fairly tightly within the frame in front of a background with depth. I have to take one photograph, then walk towards your subject while zooming out to your shortest focal length. It has also been noted to take care to frame the subject in precisely the same way in the viewfinder and take a second shot. I must then compare the two images.
I am very excited to do some portrait photography as I have a real personal interest in it. I decided I would borrow one of my friends and would take a portrait while out and about.
Planning and execution
I hadn’t really planned too much with this unfortunately, I had taken a photo of the brief on my phone so I had it there for when the opportunity struck, as my phone is almost always with me (no surprise there!)
I had been out with a friend and had brought my camera with me and decided that the street we where on was full of depth so I took the shots. Although I decided to do this at night time and looking back that was a bad idea but after fiddling with settings for what seemed a while I took the shots and enjoyed the rest of my night!
This is the first shot taken at the longest focal length of 55mm. The background has loads of depth and the lighting is good considering its night time. The focus in on the subject and has blurred out the background making the Christmas lights take a Bokeh effect which I personally like.
This second photo was taken at the shortest focal length of 18mm and I had also moved closer to the subject but still trying to keep the framing the same. The background has kept its depth but has changed, this biggest deference in the photo is the lighting, this photo is a lot darker than the previous one. If you can see in the background one of the streetlights was out and that has altered the photo completely. I still like the fact that the Christmas lights still have a Bokeh effect and that the main focus is the subject.
Comparison and final thoughts
This has been a very interesting task for me to do, I didn’t think much would change as the framing and subject stayed the same but to my surprise a lot changed.
The lighting in the second shot is the most dramatic thing between both photos, it isn’t hitting the subjects face as it was in the first shot it is also a darker background compared to the first shot. We can see some similarities though, like the trees in the background. In both photos they are in the same position and frame of both shots, even when I moved. We can also see a lot more newer things in second shot and get more of the sense that we are on a street as we can see both buildings and more Christmas lights. In the second shot the background looks closer than the second and we see new stuff as I move closer.
I feel I could have done a lot better and that night photography isn’t really my thing! Although I can see and learn from these photos I would consider doing this again and in daylight but overall I feel I have learnt a lot from this task and it has given me a new perspective on how important background is, I have also a new found appreciation for how hard night time photography is!