Saturday, December 01, 2012

Quirky portraits

click photo to enlarge
I used to take more portrait photographs than I do now. When our children were younger and lived with us they were very frequent subjects for my camera, as was my wife. Today I still take photographs of our children (and their significant others), and photographs of my wife are regular occurrences too, but in total numbers they are fewer than formerly. However, and perhaps understandably, our grand-daughter is the person I have photographed most in the past couple of years.

Good portrait photography has substance and value. And, though I appreciate and admire a well-done, insightful and inventive portrait, it's not a branch of photography that I've ever wanted to make a regular part of my photography: at least not to the extent of widening out beyond immediate family members. However, I do rather like constructing the occasional quirky portrait or self-portrait. This blog features more than a few of those - for example this one or perhaps this one, both of my wife, or this one of me. I suppose it's because I enjoy the creative challenge involved in imagining and constructing shots of this sort that I pursue them rather more than the formal portrait.

One recent morning I noticed the rising sun shining through the textured glass of our back door. Its deep orange yellow next to the blue of the sky were an appealing colour combination. So, when my wife returned from completing a chore outside, I asked her to pose on the other side of the glass, one hand resting on the door, and I took a  couple of shots. I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I like the colours and the way the glass transforms her into a generalised, impressionistic figure. When we moved into our house I wasn't particularly keen on the pattern of this glass. However, I've used it in photographs a couple of times so it clearly has its uses even if I still don't think it has much intrinsic appeal.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 55mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -1.00 EV
Image Stabilisation: On