How I Made This Shot: Portrait of Lilly

Lily portrait Mark Toal

1/320 sec at f/2.2 and ISO 200

Lily was the model in a photo/video class when I saw her in the back of the class waiting for her turn in front of the camera.

To make this portrait, I used my Panasonic Lumix GH3 with a Leica 25mm f/1.4 lens and an exposure of 1/320 sec at f/2.2 and ISO 200, in Program mode. I choose the 25mm lens because I wanted an out focus background. I don’t like to shoot the lens wide open at f/1.4; I find the depth of field too shallow for my taste. I usually shoot portraits at f/2.8, but the background was fairly close in this case so I used f/2.2.

I placed Lily about four feet away from a frosted glass window at her right. A large window about twenty feet provided fill on her left side. I took about four photos of Lily with different expressions to get this one.

The original image was shot in color. In Adobe Lightroom I used the highlight slider to bring the highlight on the right side of her face down to bring out more skin detail. I applied a small amount of sharpening in LR and exported to Photoshop where I created the black and white image using Nik Silver Efex Pro.