Wednesday, February 16, 2011

”Portrait Of A Young Musician”

Portrait Of A Young Musician

”Portrait Of A Young Musician”
©David A. Ziser

This was an image I made several years ago.  It points out what I say all the time.  My teaching is always about lighting and composition, yet, most of the time, my camera is pointing to brides and grooms.

Regardless of the subject the basic rules of decent composition and lighting need to come into play in order to create a sellable photograph.  So is this a photograph of a groom or is it a photograph of a young musician that plays for the church music ensemble?  It really doesn’t make any difference.

What we have is a very dynamic on location portrait of this young man.  The wide angle lens certainly adds to the dramatic feel of this image. Now look at the composition.  See how I’ve framed him up within the rectangular space under the organ pipes.  That placement helps the viewer’s eye to more readily be led directly to the subject.

If you look at where all the lines are leading , you will see most are intersecting almost behind where he is standing.  I’ve placed him in front of the vanishing points of those lines.  This is also a very effective way to visually design a portrait.

Lighting was easy – my strobe through a translucent umbrella camera right.  The accent to the left – just a small optically fired strobe camera left and slightly behind the subject.  This second strobe helps “rim” out or separate the subject from the background more clearly defining him in the composition.  Photographers and artists have been using accent light for centuries.

So, do you see that’s it’s not always about the subject?  Lighting and composition have to play a big part in this kind of portrait.

Camera specs: Nikon D1x fitted with Nikkor 16mm fisheye, F4.0 @ 1/30 second, ISO 400.  Enjoy!  -David

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