Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

Behind the lens: Right light critical to shooting portraits

September 19, 2004

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Photographer: Thad Allender

Camera: Nikon D1H

ISO: 800

Lens: 200mm

Aperture: f2.8

Shutter: 1/80 sec

Ask a sculptor about the role light plays in the craft and you'll most likely get this response: It's paramount. The same is true in photography.

Light has the ability to transform the human face into a cavernous surface full of character and nuance. It can add definition, reveal texture and even exaggerate small features in the most unassuming objects. The angle that light splashes across a photograph often sets the mood of the scene or person featured in the photo.

Last week, I was struck by the manner in which the light created shadows and highlights on the face of Sen. George McGovern at the Dole Institute of Politics. The drastic sidelight helped reveal a face full of personality and complexity.

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