I took my inspiration for the portrait of Richard from two sources; Zack Arias photo of Muhtar Kent, Coco-Cola CEO for Harvard Business Review and Yousuf Karsh’s portrait of Ernest Hemingway – Finca Vigia, Havana, 1957.

I selected this image of Muhtar Kent by Zack Arias mainly because I like his approach to his subject and client and by his keenness to share his passion and knowledge with other photographers on his blog.

With this image I appreciate the simplistic, yet very effective lighting arrangement of the single flash, the beauty dish has produced a very soft light on Kent’s face but nevertheless still enables us to see the character of his years and experience. The natural lines in his cheeks and creases under his eyes are plain for all to see. The lighting arrangement is well balanced and shows great catch-lights in his eyes and a healthy glow to his cheeks. On his blog, Arias documents the process by which he arrived at the set of images he produced for the Harvard Business Review and it’s well worth a read.

With the image of Ernest Hemingway by Yousuf Karsh a high-loop lighting arrangement has produced deep eyebrow shadows. Directional lighting to the left and right of Hemingway provides clear delineation of his shoulders and hair. The positioning of the lights shows very fine detail in Hemingway’s knitwear and shows a rugged, reflective man. His hairline is gently picked-out and provides sufficient contrast with the dark background, which compares favorably with the image by Arias whose image of Kent appears to compete with the background.

To quote the words of Karsh when describing Hemingway: “…a man of peculiar gentleness, the shyest man I ever photographed – a man cruelly battered by life, but seemingly invincible.”

With my image of Richard I wanted to convey the persona of a hard working man capable of deep thought and compassion, a trustworthy businessman man who is true to his word. I wanted to express the friendly nature of my subject and his generosity of spirit. For this shot I used a single on-camera flash with a diffuser and a camera setting of f5.6 at 1/80 with a 85mm f1.8 lens.

Leave a Reply