Week 7: Faceless Portrait

So the 52 Week Photo Challenge assignment this week was pretty straightforward: Tell someone’s story without showing their face.

Photojournalism, or even street photography, came to mind this week. Literal storytelling. I could envision a heart-broken person, face buried in his hands. Or perhaps someone who is overjoyed, with his face turned toward the heavens, or buried in an embrace with a loved one. I probably should have grabbed a picture of a small boy playing peek-a-boo.

But, then, I saw something. I was out, working on a shot, when I noticed my shadow. Candidly a picture like this is harder than you might think. For example, rather than the lens pointing “forward”, as it typically does, I had to have it facing my “subject”, which means my camera is actually twisted down and sideways.

Technical Details:

  • Nikon D7100
  • AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
  • 18mm
  • f/ 4.5 at 1/800
  • ISO 200

The diagonal framing by the shadows was provided by the sun and a few well-placed trees.

Challenges and things to continue working on: It was unexpected, but I had to deal with the whole “posing” element. Trying to work out where to put my hands and arms so that they look both visible and natural took a few attempts.

The Takeaway: They used to say that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Honestly, I don’t know a single way, nor do I want to. But the principle applies here. There are lots of ways to take faceless portraits. I probably opted for the easiest one! Overall, I need to work on more creativity in these shots. That probably means looking further down the list and having a plan by the time I get to each specific week.

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