Assignment 1 – The Non-Familiar

Developing the Theme

Assignment 1 is intended to challenge the student, taking them outside of their comfort zone, and that was indeed the case for me. I approached Assignment 1 initially during the early stages of lockdown but avoiding the temptation to find an alternative interpretation that avoided the confrontation, I chose to wait until lockdown was over.

Within the context of my research (see below), taking the broad alignment of external shots and framing, my portraits are on the street and close-up. There is enough of the background to make it clear that they are taken in a town, but not enough that the location is providing a narrative.

In the end I chose to face head on the challenge of taking an “intimate” portrait of total strangers.

Technical Approach

I selected a focal length equivalent to 78mm full frame, which is close to typical for “natural” portraiture. The aperture was as open as is possible for my lens (around f5.6), to blur the background a little. All shots were handheld.

Body of Work

The first two strangers were father and daughter. He lives in Oxford, he in Truro; Hungerford was a convenient mid-point. They were the first people I approached and found it very easy to begin a comfortable conversation. They had no discomfort about having their portrait taken.

For the remainder of the assignment click here.

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