Lance Lewin  

Portrait Study by Lance Lewin

September 2021 - Portrait Study

September 2021 - Lance Lewin


About the Image(s)

Thought I would go back and take a look at two portraits of my precious granddaughter, Isla Marie. At about one year old and more recently in 2017. The featured photograph one of my favorites captured at the children's activity center (room) at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. I was lucky to get this shot as the lens was @F/4...but at the right moment Isa was still and I pulled the trigger. As always, it was paramount focus was on the eye/s. (F/4.0 as I wanted to widen my focus area and maintain details of the space was important) Of course, another way to proceed was to use a (fill-in) Flash.

The 2017 photograph is composed to explore Isa, as well as the Space she is enjoying. We have talked about this often in this group (and group DD87) about "creating a sense of place" within your work. Both as a perspective and a means of identifying the location. (I enjoy movies that use this creative means in their production: (E.G Handmaids Tales, for one example). The final piece in fact has some (added) "Barreling" or darkening of the frame perimeter...something I no longer do.

7 comments posted

Jason Danford   Jason Danford
I am personally not a fan of sepia toning, but then again, that's just me. The composition is wonderful. I completely agree the space around the subject should be explored as it is part of the story (except maybe in portrait photos). I love watching the minds of young children work as they explore and figure things out. She is a beautiful little girl and I am sure you are a very proud grandpa!   Posted: 09/05/2021 12:39:58

Jose Luis Rodriguez   Jose Luis Rodriguez
Hi Lance
A moment of pure concentration and abstraction of a girl who is in her world. I agree that sometimes you have to incorporate the space where the subject is to focus and / or size it.
In this specific case, the space does not tell me much, I see that it is a large room but nothing more, that it is the Atlanta art museum, your words tell me not the image. That the angle is open enough to include the frame of the glass or mirror where she draws I think it does contribute, since it leaves me in doubt if it is an image reflected in a mirror or an image captured through glass   Posted: 09/06/2021 17:34:50
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hello, Jose. The use of space can define an actual location (or specific space), but in many cases is used to "reveal" and/or "describe" the surrounding space that frames a subject: in this way the photographer/cinematographer can help define the narrative by providing visual cues the viewer can react to.

Some of best photography and cinematography reveal an enormous amount of emotion, feelings, including trepidation or meditative ease (e.g. Award winning Director of Photography, Stuart Biddlecombe of the "Hands Maid Tales" - who uses this technique on may of his creative scenes).

In my featured photograph I feel it is absolutely clear the subject is drawing on glass: the frame and background light help define this narrative. (The shot was composed/framed through the viewfinder).   Posted: 09/16/2021 06:29:15

Dirk-Olaf Leimann   Dirk-Olaf Leimann
Hello Lance,
to get more focus to your grand daughter, could it be an opportunity to darken the frame a lot?   Posted: 09/10/2021 05:28:20
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Yes, I see the objection, but I rather "Dodge" her face instead. The lighting is part of the environmental state at the time of capture, and I do not want to disturb this. It is part of what defines the visual narrative or helps the viewer engage the space Isla is in. This said, a very little darkening or "Burning" of the background light is viable.

Thank you, Dirk.   Posted: 09/16/2021 06:34:42

Debasish Raha   Debasish Raha
Lance, this is a beautiful portrait of your granddaughter, showing her focus on her world and what she is involved in. I love the expression on her face! f/4 allowed you to show the environment she is in without loosing focus on the subject.

There are some very bright spots on the upper right hand corner which was distracting to my eyes.   Posted: 09/12/2021 12:17:55
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Thank you, Debasish.....and yes, I addressed the Bright light in the above comments.

Exactly, F/4 just wide enough for hand-hold and fair amount of Dof as you described.   Posted: 09/16/2021 06:38:36


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