For this exercise you will play the role of a location hunter.
The brief is to find some very different settings or backgrounds which could be used effectively and attractively for either a whole body or torso portrait. Take reference pictures of the locations as you come across them, without people. Finally, choose one of them and return with a portrait subject and photograph them.
This is an interesting exercise with a very clear brief. I often find myself looking at a scene and thinking it would be perfect for a portrait photo. This is something I believe that most photographers would regularly do; visualise how a scene would look when photographed. So this exercise asks that we find different settings that would be perfect for portrait photography. Below you will find my chosen locations- all taken using the exact composition which I would use with a portrait subject.
Image 1- This beautiful scene was taken at a local harbour. I envisioned a portrait subject walking away from the camera; along the pier. This would create a strong, emotional image which would create a very effective portrait photograph.
Image 2- For this shot, I used my zoom lens and captured this bench at a completely different harbour. I would use the zoom lens as it creates a more interesting and pleasing image for portraits. I would use a wide open aperture to concentrate solely on the subject- so as not to distract the viewer towards the harbour scene.
Image 3- This is one of my favourite images out of the set, as it is a little more original. This would be a great backdrop for a band photo shoot. It is essential to find varying backdrops to match varying subject’s and photo shoots. The grunge effect in this scene creates a very moody feel- showing that a scene can evoke a very specific mood and feel.
Image 4- The general idea of this image is the beauty of a gazebo. This specific one is a little worse for the wear in places, and does not have a very strong background. However, the idea is that a gazebo makes a beautiful object for a portrait photo shoot, and specifically an engagement or wedding session. A gazebo evokes the emotion of romance- complete with a couple dancing under it; this would be a beautiful portrait shot.
Image 5- This image goes back to the grunge type mood evoked from the graffiti wall, and would probably work well in the same band photoshoot. I decided to use this scene as the one in which I would add my portrait to. Unfortunately I didn’t have a band handy! However I used a young man- staring moodily into the distance, in order to match in with this moody and grungy scene. See image six.
This was a very interesting exercise which encouraged me to continually look out for ideas for strong portrait scenes.