A1 Formal assessment submission

A portrait 



1 expression

My overall favourite shot.  Captured during one of those “deep in thought” moments. I love the subtle tones and how the background blends in to compliment the subject. The softness of the features contrast with dark eyes to really draw the viewer in. This was shot with the subject in front of a large window to allow the sunlight to catch the hair and face.


2 in close

In close and quite invasive. This image captures an expression that leads the reader to decide what is happening outside the frame. Taken with less available light, the shadows sharpen the features helping to project the mood.


3 activity

Expression: The concentration on the subject’s face is evident as he figures out how to work the camera.Totally engrossed and oblivious to my presence and closeness with my camera. Harsh shadows softened using diffused light.


4 activity

A more fluid shot, Max in a playful mood. The short depth of field  blurs the background, but allows a little colour and sunlight to add to the cheeriness of the image. I was able to retake this one using my homemade (nylon fabric) diffuser over the camera flash.



This shot may be deemed as atypical – not a true portrait in the sense that it does not show facial expression, but is clearly the same subject. Instead this image attempts to capture mood and body language.


6 head shoulders

Max was getting tired, so getting him to pose for this shot wasn’t too challenging. I took advantage of natural light here, the late afternoon sun. A table lamp enhanced the highlighting and shading. The white blanket assists in bouncing light onto the face.



Technical: From this piece of work I have discovered (once again), the importance of lighting. As I don’t have a flash unit, I did find it necessary to use the camera’s built in flash for some of the photos. I agree that it does flatten out features and take away natural effects. I was able to re-shoot some of the images using my homemade diffuser over the flash (see tutor feedback notes), others I have adjusted in Lightroom.

I have learnt how to put my subject at ease by chatting to them and encouraging them to be natural and forget the presence of the camera.

To strengthen my skills, I need to focus on being more strict and disciplining myself when making a final selection to present. I am indecisive by nature, so culling images and choosing just a few was far too time consuming. For the assignment I took around seventy shots of Max, some were easy to discard – out of focus, poor composition, bad lighting etc. For the remainder I was tempted to seek the opinion of others. This is more about my lack of confidence and something I am continually working on.

Overall, I am pleased with my assignment images and now have a far greater understanding of what portraiture is – or more accurately, what it can be.