by Erick Nelson
I was trying to create a portrait of my daughter that had some drama to it without going over the edge. I am still working with learning how to effectively use a digital darkroom.
I would like to know what you think of this photograph and any advice you could give to help make future photographs like this better.
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There seem to be a rush of portrait shots appearing this month, must be the season! Erick’s is a good example of the genre.
Some of the basic 'rules' of portrait photography have been applied here – the main one being throwing the background out of focus, whilst keeping the foreground (i.e. Becca) in sharp focus.
However, the blur here confuses me a little. It doesn't appear to be caused by a wide aperture. When a wide aperture is used the background becomes blurry, but the blur is generally quite aesthetic. This aesthetic blurring is called 'bokeh'. The better the lens, the nicer the bokeh.
The blur here however appears to be too even, almost as if someone has found the ‘blur’ tool in Photoshop, and got to work on the background with it. The background in the distance appears to be just as blurry as the middle ground. Only Erick can tell us, I guess (and please do leave us a comment Erick).
You can read more about using the aperture to control depth of field here.
But back to the photo in general. The pose is quite likable. We usually advise a portrait to have eye contact, but sometimes that wistful look away from the camera can work well too. And I think here it does. It would be worth trying a few more shots at the time to try to get some eye contact though, and maybe a cheeky smile.
The soft late afternoon lighting also works well. This sort of shot in the middle of the day is never as good as the light is just too harsh. Erick has made the right decision to take this shot later in the day and make the most of the Golden Hour.
Click for some digital photography tips, including the golden hour here.
All in all, a nice photo, well done! And please, Erick, put us out of our misery and let us know how the blur was achieved.
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Read a hands on review here