365 Project: Photojournalism homework – black & white portrait of a stranger

I’m taking a photojournalism class and our first photography assignment was to take portraits of strangers then print one 8×10 to be critiqued during class.  Suprisingly, my photo received the most votes in regards to technical and aesthetic merit.  Eek! (that was a happy squeal, by the way…LOL)

How I shot this photo: I chose this vendor who was working during a local street fair because he was in the shade (the sun was bright and overhead), the backdrop of his white tent was sparse creating a simple (eg. not distracting) background, and I thought the textures of his face would make for a good black and white photo.  I used my Nikon D7000 with 50mm/1.4 lens.  I shot at ISO 200, F/5, 1/320 shutter speed.  Our assignment was to have the eyes looking at us and filling the frame with the face.  In Lightroom, I converted the photo to black and white and bumped up the black until the histogram was at a bell-shaped curve.  No other post-processing. The only improvement that was suggested was trying to get more catch-light in his eyes.  I was pleased as punch about this capture. 🙂



About the assignment:  Although I’m not typically afraid of talking to strangers, initially it felt awkward for me to walk up to strangers and ask to take their photo.  Especially since I had to get up really close using my 50mm lens!  After the first ask, the assignment got easier.  In general, the men were more willing to let me take their pics.  The women were concerned about how they looked, wishing they put makeup on or did their hair.  When I assured them they looked fine and the photo would be for class and my photo blog, they let me take their pic.  Out of the twelve strangers I approached,  no one refused letting me take their photo. It was a good photojournalism exercise!


2 comments on “365 Project: Photojournalism homework – black & white portrait of a stranger

  1. Gracie says:

    This is awesome! Black and white really works well with this photo.


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