ISO 800, f5.6, 1/10th (78mm)

Note: (Zoomed out 5.6 may have been my largest available stop!)

I thought I would post an old portrait from my summer holiday this year. I considered this as a possible favourite portrait for yesterday’s blog entry, but wasn’t sure that it was my actual favourite, but it’s one of my favourites. It certainly reminds me that good portraits as in all types of photography are made by great light.

I had my Canon 40D with me, but only my Sigma 18-200 “walkabout” lens as we were on a walking holiday in the Swiss Alps. This isn’t a perfect portrait lens, but when the light is great, you go for it. This was in an alpine hut at about 3000m with only small windows letting in bright evening light. One window was behind Jackie and the other at a larger distance was on her right. The window behind was backlighting her and bathing her hair, while the more distant one was filling shadows and possibly very slightly “rimlighting” and creating lovely definition to Jackie’s face. As soon as I saw the light I asked if it was OK to photograph her, picked up my everpresent 40D, set to ISO 800 and asked her to stay still as the image stabilisation on the Sigma lens could only cope with the slow shutter if she was like a statue. How I wish I’d had my Canon 50mm f1.4 with me, but really the point is that the light makes this regardless of the lens. Doesn’t she look great?

To satisfy the curious among you, here is the hut:


And a view out of one of it’s windows perhaps giving an idea of the dark/light contrast within:



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