Say hello to my dad. He is 79 years old and he was more than willing to act as my model.
It was interesting to try to get him keep his eyes open, as he has a tendency to keep them almost closed, and he squints due to his glaucoma. I also wanted to get a natural feel to the shot, which I feel has been achieved. I asked my dad to stand with his shoulders at an angle and asked him at first to look at the floor and slowly look up whilst thinking of the holidays we shared when I was a young child. This did not work, so I asked him to change this by moving his torso slowly from left to right, whilst holding the same thought.
The notes for the exercise asks the student to use a wide aperture (small f-stop) and I decided upon f8 as i wanted to ensure with eyes were sharply in focus with the rest of his head. Dad’s eyes are interesting as they are naturally cloudy due to his age and glaucoma. In addition he has deep-set eyes and does suffer with dark patches around his eyes due to the medication he uses.
I chose to shoot outside with purely natural light and I have shot this without a reflector. The sun was shining down as you look at the image from left to right and was slightly behind my dad as I wanted to ensure the sun was not in his eyes.
The brief asked for a natural balanced portrait and I believe that this has been achieved due to the lighting and also due to the composition. Dad’s right eye sits nicely on the top left third. All of the face is sharp, with the background being blurred as a result of the aperture used with a small amount of bokeh apparent in the confer hedge in the background. The background whilst being blurred does add a warm feeling to the overall image due to the green and yellow shapes which can be clearly seen. The roses just over dad’s shoulder also gives this portrait a setting, thatch be identified and is something my dad loves, hence I included them in the shot.
I am quite happy with this shot and it has been treated with approved by my mum and dad. John Berger talks about photography having a language and images being read. It is my opinion this is easily read in a number of ways (though).
The shutter speed of 200 was needed due to the focal length of the lens and this also had a baring on the f stop as this was shot in Aperture mode.