On Monday 19th March, I undertook a freelance job providing headshots for entrepreneur, entertainment maestro and theatre instructor Mark Bowman, in preparations for his new business venture ‘Find Your Act’ – an online service directed at the soft-entertainment and planning industry.
This was the first time I’ve done portraits on my new Nikon D750 with the Sigma 35mm ART prime. It was a brilliantly sunny day which is a rarity in Belfast, so we decided to take a walk around the city centre and take shots that tie his business to key sites in his new surroundings. We initially discussed the studio option but figured a more dynamic urban background would be suitable not only for headshots – but for the provision of photographs for articles and socials.
The Rationale for Photographic Style
Aside from taking Mark out of the studio, I employed a shallow depth of field for his headshots. I wanted the background to be blurred/exploded (or using the technical term, employing the ‘Bokeh’ to the fullest effect), bringing Mark to the forefront of the image. In the case of the images taken at Victoria Square, the geometrics of the architecture served really well for bringing Mark to the centre of attention in the images. The choice of sites used key sites around the Lagan, as well as sites with interesting backgrounds and strong colour.
The aperture sat between f/3.5-4.0 with the ISO down to 200, shutter speed sat between 1/1600 and 1/2500 to compensate for the heavy exposure from the blinding daylight. In post-processing – the images were slightly dehazed, with exposure, highlights and blacks adjusted appropriately. The contrast was adjusted very slightly where necessary, with clarity brought between 10-20%. Colour processing involved blues, reds and white balance, with orange saturation used to fine-tune the white balance where appropriate. In the case of the geometry in the landscape images, the lens correction was set to bend the image in a concave manner. Images were exported in 300dpi, and for socials, exported at 82dpi at 2048px.