Hello - this is my first submission to one of these shooting challenges, however I have meant to enter many many times. I received a Canon Rebel 2Ti for Christmas this year and figure I should probably start figuring out how to use it. This photo was taken with the lens that came with the camera on Tv set to 1/4000. I dimmed the lights in the basement and used the flash to wash out my model and add some sheen to the guitar. I then did all of the editing in Gimp. The model, by they way, is my girlfriend - who didn't take near as much talking into as I thought. Hopefully I'll be able to submit to some of the future challenges and really learn how to take photos!

- Colin Graham

Rock and Roll Reflections

Shot with Canon T2i, kit lens, f 3.5 1/4000 @ 200 ISO.
I was pretty excited to try out this particular challenge as I have for all intensive purposes zero experience with any form of portrait photography outside of the random candid here and there. After thinking for a while about some sort of interesting shot and not getting very far, I switched focus to thinking about interesting individuals I know that'd be willing to be the subject. I approached my manager and asked if he'd be interested in helping out. Knowing that back in his teenage days he was in a band and is to this day a pretty talented musician (even though he denies it) I thought music, rock in particular, should play a role in the portrait. I live in Cleveland and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is minutes from work so I figured that'd be a great venue. He also has some great aviators which I thought would be perfect to grab the reflection of the Rock Hall and have downtown in the background. We took a quick trip down there during a period of nice weather and got the shot. Did some post work, desaturating the color in the image a bit and bumping up the contrast but that's about it.

- Rob Lohr

Are you a Sinner or Saint?

Sometimes we all have to wonder who if anyone is looking down on us and judging our ways! This photo was shot in heaven on a kinda cloudy day! This man bestowed upon me a valuable clue to life! He said "Always click at the precise moment, because the moment is fleeting and will not pass again"! He also said "Don't wear dirty underwear". I will never forget his valuable lessons.

Leica M9
50mm 2.0
1/60 ISO 1250 f4.0

- James Hale

The lovely Hannah poses for a shot, looking equally beautiful and creepy.

Shot with a Canon D90, 50mm lens F1.8, outdoor (natural) lighting.

- Tashina Jirikovic-Reynolds

I was just trying to play around with silhouettes and learn proper exposure with a bright background and was frustrated with most of my results since I was doing this without a tripod, and this was probably the best shot to come out of the whole experience. Rebel T1i, 18-55mm kit lens - f5.6 - ISO 100 - 1/60

- Micah Gerber

Shooting summary:
Camera: Nikon D90
Lens: 35MM Prime Lens
ISO: 200
Aperture: 1.8

Story: This portrait was done whilst testing a location to see how I could make use of the available light. To avoid a contre-jour I opted for a reflector (it can be distinguished it in the model's eye as small white spots). A small smoke machine was also used to capture the light rays seen in the back and also to create a glowing effect around the model. Other than that, I used Photoshop to adjust the curves of the image and to add grain so that the image would look as if shot on film.

Website: http://codrutsebastiannegut.blogspot.com/

- Codrut Negut

I was taking pictures with my girl friend for her senior portraits and i am just learning how to take HDR picture so i experimented with a few of her photos. For this picture i used my Sony NEX-VG10 and i took this with the HDR setting that is in the menu and tweaked it a bit in photoshop. I really like how this picture turned out so i think i will keeping using that HDR setting because before now my attempts at taking HDR photos have been quite unsuccessful.

- Dan Jarvis

Shot with a Nikon D7000, a Nikon 18-200 VR Lens. Focal Length 200mm = 300mm, aperture 6.3, ISO 100. Edited in Aperture and Silver Effects Pro. This shot was taken at famed Churchill Downs during Derby Week. I imagine this lady as just having placed her bet and was lighting one up and waiting for the race to start. I hope she won big.

- Joe Hale

EXIF: ISO 400, f5.6, 1/250sec, 38mm

Camera Canon EOS Rebel T1i
Lens: EF 28-135
flash did not fire

This shot was taken at the National Cemetery in Daejeon, South Korea. This is a guard that works at one of the monument buildings on site. He is there to sign people in, otherwise he's got all the time for a small photo-shoot with me! I like the look of his b&w uniform with the traditional Korean architecture design in the background.

I did not use any lights or equipment, just the natural light and my camera.

- Alla Ponomareva

I took this photo on 5/5/11 of my wife at Churchill Downs a few days before the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. Each year around this time the track becomes increasingly busy each day as the week nears closer to Saturday's Running of the Roses. My wife and I were attending a luncheon at the track on Thursday during the Spring Meet races when the scenery behind us struck me as an excellent portrait opportunity.


Photo specs:
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EF-S18-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS @ 33 mm focal length
ISO 100


- Shannon Tompkins

I took this picture with a Canon D5000 at a wedding this weekend. I was taking some pictures with this challenge in mind, but no one knew, they just had had a few drinks and were all up for posing for the camera. I had a few to choose from but this seemed to be the best one for this contest to me.

- Adam Szachacz

This challenge was particularly special for me because I'm just starting to get into portrait photography as a side job. I spent a few days racking my brain over who to shoot and decided I wanted to use someone I hadn't worked with before. This eliminated a lot of my friends and family. It hit me finally Sunday afternoon while at my parents house for Mother's Day. My middle-younger brother Bili and I have always been a bit like oil and water and he normally hates it when I take his picture so most end up blurry or simply him flipping me off. However, he seemed to be oddly agreeable this afternoon. I took a bunch of shots that were a bit more serious but this seemed to be the one that really showed who he is. A big brat! The fun part about this is out of the frame my best friend is shooting from the side- a forced perspective that made it look like he was eating the cows in the field next to the house. Taken with a Canon 7D and an 85mm f1.8. ISO-200, f/2, 1/500sec at 6:55 in the evening with lots of beautiful sunshine.

- Meredith Woolfolk

Canon T2i, stock lens, ISO 200, and manual focus.

A classic "mug" shot in Locust Point, Baltimore watching the American Visionary Art Museum's Kinetic Sculpture Race. Zoomed in and manually focused on "M's" lovely proboscis. Obviously, she's owns the closeup. It was a tad cool in the shade, thereby necessitating the hoody. Adds to her dashing look.

- R

shot with a Canon 450D and a Canon 1.8 II 50mm lens with iso at 200.

This picture was taken of my friend after we walked around Washington
Square in Philadelphia where I go to school. I found a park bench with
the sunlight beaming between the buildings and shot with the super
sharp prime lens and caught a cool effect of the sunshine illuminating
the edge of his face.

- Romy Patel

Canon T2i, ISO 1600, 45mm, 0EV, f/2.8, 1/60.

The brave soul in this portrait is my friend Kate, who, after reading the instructions of the challenge, still decided to help me with this one. Thanks KATE, you rock! And you are so patient :-)


We tried many configurations, props and backdrops, but this photo at the bar just seemed the most genuine to me. We were celebrating her new job, and you can see the excitement in her face!

- Diego Jimenez

10x10 clear glass Ambrotype

equipment : 8x10 Deardorff with a Dallmeyer 2c brass barrel lens
settings : F2.2
technique : I use the Wet Plate Collodion process

the story : I photograph people Unadorned, Just a simple portrait...


- Christopher R. Perez


Here is my entry to the portrait contest.

Shot with a Canon T2i with a 50mm f/1.4 USM lens. It was VERY bright out so ISO was kept at 100 and the shutter was at 4000th/sec just trying to not overexpose the photo. At f/1.4, not enough of the shot was in focus so f/1.8 seemed to do JUST nicely in providing a very short depth of field on her face, but JUST enough in focus! Touched up VERY slightly in iPhoto '11 .

The shot was taken at the Borden Bridge (N 52.37328, W -107.150087) just outside of Saskatoon. Its a favorite area for us to walk the dogs and just have a great time by the river. The bridges old architecture usually makes for some very awe inspiring shots, but they didn't work out this visit so you're unable to see how beautiful it is out here...

Thanks for the opportunity of the contest ;)

- Aaron

Nikon D60
Nikon 18-200 VRII

ISO 400
f 4.5

I took a ton of shots to try to find something that worked. After a variety of shots inside, I took advantage of being in the suburbs and not the city for the weekend and went outside and had her lie on the grass. Stood on a rock to get up a little higher and shot directly down. I liked the contrast of the green, but the shot still was kind of borring so I started putting her hair in different styles. I liked the star/sun thing she has going on in this one. Played with the colors in post to make the green stand out a little more.

- John

D90 with a 35mm F1.8 Lens. Photo specs are F1.8, shutter speed 1/15, and ISO 450.


I FINALLY bought a camera, I've always been into photography and decided, I'm going to buy a camera...and now I'm trying to get better at it. I told my fiancee let's go take some pictures. I decided I'm going to start entering in these contests...if nothing else (even if I miss the point of the challenge / suck at it) I'll learn something about photography...

- Ramsin L. Israel

Canon EOS 5D, EF 50mm f/1.2L, ISO 400, 1/2000s, @ f/1.2.

My brother and I spent most of Mother's Day laying out on the boat.
The sun hung low behind some clouds when dusk came around, and we
lingered for a few more minutes to grab this shot. Portrait
photography to me is all about capturing personalities - this is my

- Bo Burasco

As a sort of tribute to Mothers and Mother's day this is a portrait of my grandmother. She's a survivor, been through breast cancer and is one of the most caring people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. This photo was actually taken on mother's day outside of a restaurant we were planning on eating at. She never smiles for photographs but she's always smiling. You have to sneak a picture of her smiling if you want it. I decided it was far more dramatic this way. This photo seemed perfect in itself, I felt no need to do the standard photoshop touchup. This is the first of many photography challenges I'll be entering in.


This was shot with my Canon Rebel XS at 100 ISO using 1/160 shutter speed at f/2.8 with my new 50 mm 1.8 II lens which acts more like a 80 mm with my APS-C sized sensor.

- Adam

So this all started when a friend and I were exploring the dense jungle forest in the local library, when we were ambushed by 4 bloodthirsty jungle cats! Lucky for us, my friend was able to tame them with his copious amounts of sexiness long enough to pose for this shot. The ferocious beasts would have had us for a Mother's Day dinner if it were not for him! Taken with a Canon XSi kit lens at f/4, 1/60 sec, and ISO 400

- Forrest Sherman

Hey there,

I've never done any portrait work, and as an amateur I found this challenge to be quite intimidating. I was messing around the first night after reading the contest, taking some candid shots of my wife Brittany and now 5 week old, Lola. We both liked this one that came out of that and thought it would be cool to submit. I did do some research into the sweet spot on my lens after taking this shot, and learned an f-stop around 8 on that lens usually gets pretty crisp results. At least I learned something, so thanks.


Canon T2i w/kit 18-55, 1/60 sec @ f3.5, 23mm focal length, camera mounted Vivitar DF-483, ISO 400

- Solomon Kamman

For this weeks shooting contest I decided to capture a picture of the rare recycling troll that lives on the bottom of the recycling bin. The trick to it was waiting him out, because I knew he was not going to willing come out for a shooting contest. So I had to camp over night next to the bin to insure that noboby fed him any tasty recyclable treats. It was a painful thirty seven and a half hours but finally the troll became hungry garbling at passerbys where I was able to snap a quick shot at him as somebody slipped in a delicious piece of coffee stained paper. I shot him with my Canon XSi with stock lens at 200iso 6.3f and 1/40 shutter speed. It was alot of work but defiantly worth the picture in the end, and don't forget to feed your recycling troll they tend to get a bit crazy when not fed.

- Myke Outinen

Looking Out

I had my wife look out the window of our home on a warm afternoon. I was able to focus in on her face as she gazed outside. I took the shot with my iPhone 4 and did some post processing work with a few apps and photoshop on my pc.

- Jared Grayden

I was visiting a friend in London this weekend, and it's been really sunny so I thought it would be perfect for trying to get a nicely lit portrait shot of her. We took a walk down Camden Lock, but despite her being more than willing to pose for a shot, she was quite embarrassed about standing in the middle of Camden with me snapping away and it showed in the photos. I then decided to try and catch her unaware, resulting in this - my favourite shot of the day! Taken with a Canon EOS 550D using a 18-55mm lens, at ISO100, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec.

- Mitch Needham

I was taking pictures of different people and she was holding the lights originally. I asked if anyone could raise just one eyebrow and she volunteered even though she hadn't wanted her picture taken at first. I only got three taken before she let other people continue being my models. Fortunately one of those three turned out pretty well. I used my flash as the hair light and a halogen lamp with a diffuser for the main light.

Body: Nikon D50
Lens: 50mm f/1.8
Flash: SB-800
ISO 400
1/100 sec

- Quentin Swager

I was taking this picture of my friend next to the roses in our garden
that are in full bloom right now.
Due to the wind her bangs were blowing in her face though.
But I just loved this portrait of this happy beautiful girl :)

Nikon D3000
1/5000 sec

- Anna Albert

Here is my photo, sorry about not having a wallpaper, but wasn't sure how to do that with a portrait orientation.
A friend of mine and I were waiting for a bagel when I snapped this picture. Its a nice little cafe that opens up onto the main street. We are both amateur photographers so we decided to go on a shoot together for this challenge. Taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i with a 18-55mm at ISO 500, f/5.6, 1/80.


- Jasmine Holland

Shooting Summary:
Camera - Nikon D7000
Lens - Nikon 35mm f/1.8G
ISO - 450
Mode - Aperture at f1.8


I shot my friend Matt Fellows after a long day at a local independent shopping event in Downtown LA. He runs an awesome clothing company called MNKR and has been repping his brand nonstop at this show for 2 days straight prior to this shot. I took the shot a few hours after the event was over, when most of the vendors already left and Matt stayed to pop open an iced cold beer (hence the blushing cheeks).


- Marat

Shot with a Canon Rebel XS on a tripod, using a 50mm f1.8 lens at
f2.5, ISO 200, 1/100th second exposure.
My brother and I aren't the closest of bros, and he generally hates
having his picture taken, so when I posted to facebook asking for a
portrait subject, I was shocked to see him volunteer. Guessing he was
taking one for the team in order create a bonding opportunity, and I'm
glad he did. Had a good time.
Regarding the location, he's massively into books (think he said he's
got something like a hundred boxes of books in storage), so the
library seemed an obvious place to shoot. And of all the shots I took,
I tended to like the ones where he was either right up against the
books or framed by them, showing him being connected and/or engulfed
by them...

- Eric Kornblum

This image is a Wet-Plate Collodion tintype. I shot it with my homemade walnut view camera and an antique C.C. Harrison petzval portrait lens on 4.25x5.5" tin plate with a fixed f-stop of approximately f/3.6. The exposure was about 2 seconds. My camera doesn't have a shutter, so I just pop the lens cap on and off. Wet-Plate film is approximately ASA 1 and requires strong UV/Blue light, so lighting for this image was outdoors at 3 PM in direct sun.


The model was a new local person I found on Model Mayhem that I had not shot with before. She did great and was very patient while I worked through the process...Thanks Linzy!

Thanks for looking!

- Andrew Richmond

I took this shot of my brother while out late at a pub in Baltimore City. I realize that's not quite a "planned" portrait, but this wasn't candid, either. I saw the light bulb floating near his head and asked him to pose in a thoughtful manner. Considering the number of drinks in him, I think he did well. :) The light really accentuates his ginger beard too. Overall, the shot really demonstrates, the, err... lofty art-ness of a night out on the town. :/


Canon Powershot S90, ISO 400, 0.3 s, f/3.5, handheld. White balance adjustment in Aperture.

- Shaun Wrightson

Come the spring time a favorite pastime is sitting around the campfire with a few drinks and laughing until our sides hurt. I shot this weekend doing exactly that. The contest was a good opportunity to play with closeups and bokeh. I think this shot perfectly captures the essence of good friends and good times. Shot with my Canon ESO 60D and 70-200 f2.8 mk II lens. ISO 500 at 200mm, f3.5 and 1/320 of a second. No post processing was done to the pic. This is straight out of the camera.

- Bruce

This is my very first attempt at a portrait. The resolution of the 5D MkII together with the 50mm f/1.8 USM is just incredible: B&W settings, increased contrast and sharpness, ISO 125, Manual exposure 1/800, f1.8. Mac Aperture3.


I found this Portrait is provocative and at the same time calming and comforting. The best element of this portrait is his eyes, sharp and directive. During our shooting session we have experience a strong wind, which caused him to tear up a bit, that brought more reflection and contrast to his look and character.

Dear Gizmodo.com, Thank you for a chance to participate in Shooting challenge "Portrait" contest.


- Alikhan Kuljanov

Not to sound too brown nosey, but always enjoyed checking out the shooting challenges here on gizmodo. It lead me to buying my first DSLR, so I thought it was my time to take part and see what comes of it. Last week I decided to plunge into the world of old school lenses, the kinda ones you find on the end of a zenit, with the help of an M42 adapter I was set to go. Plucked for a 58mm Helios 44-2, an old Russian lens, and one of the earlier builds, which were notorious for their wild flaring at wide aperture. I took this as a pro rather than a con, with the hope they'll create dreamy images in direct light. My chance came a few days ago as myself and my girlfriend were taking a drive, noticing the great sunset I quickly drove to the most scenic area I could think of: Knaresbourough castle, overlooking the bridge and the river. Grabbed my new lens itching to give it the usage it deserved, luckily she's not shy so manage to get some shots in before the sun set. Shot with Canon 500D/Rebel T1i at f/2.0, 1/2500 sec and ISO 400.

- Louis Hvejsel Bork

Determined to Win: (Portrait Taken by Jennifer Shuta)

EXIF Data:
Camera: Nikon D3100
Lens: AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 300mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Speed: 1/800


My wife & I are relatively new to photography, but as our boys haven't gotten more & more into sports we have caught a bit of the "shutter bug" to track our family memories. This portrait is a father of one of the kids on my baseball team that I am coaching. He is a man of little words & often has an intimidating demeanor about himself. After coaching his child for 2 years now we have become great friends. Determined is the first word I thought of when I saw how this shot came out.

- Aaron and Jennifer Shuta

Hey Giz,

Here's my Submission for the Portrait Contest.

I was taking some shots & playing with my brother's dog on Saturday, the first nice day we've had in Western NY so far, and thought of this contest. (Didn't see in the rules where the portrait had to be of a person...) Well I had plenty of nice shots of Auggie that were well composed and captured the noble beast. This one however, captured exactly what kind of dog he is. Goofy.

Equipment Used:
Nikon D5000 w/55-200 Lens & a used tennis ball.

- Harvey Taylor

This challenge was a little more difficult for me. I am not the type to go up to strangers and ask to take their picture for no really good reason. (Yet, I am working up to that). I also didn't want to do something that every one else was doing. So, I knew we were planning a Zoo trip this weekend and thought I may be able to get a great portrait there in a great setting, with my brand new Nikon D5100. Sure enough, I found my subject sitting amongst some shrubs, with a great looking attitude about him. I took many pictures of him, trying to get the best angle, lighting, etc. He was willing to work with me on some of his positioning but for the most part he kept things very natural. He was a delight to work with. In the end he shot me this great smile and I knew I had the shot I needed.


Equipment: Nikon D5100, Tamron 18-270mm Lens
Settings: f/6, 1/500 sec., ISO 800, 140mm

- Steve P.

For this challenge I decided I was going to shoot a coworker named Craig. Craig is definitely one who can not be judged by his outward appearances. One thing you can always recognize is his hat. People at work covet the chance to put it on. The setting was at the Promenade Mall in Temecula, CA. I snapped the shot with my Canon 7D using a Sigma 24-70 F2.8 at Iso 100, wide open aperture of 2.8 and a shutter speed of 1/180th. I use Aperture for my editing, preferring to stick with levels and a basic polarizing filter and running through a Photomax HDR plug-in.


Hope life is well and keep up the awesome work with the photo challenges. They definitely help push my art!


- Dan Azer

Story: Me and a friend went for a little shooting session downtown. We stopped at a bagel shop and I snapped this. We're both aspiring photographers and are trying to find more models then each other. Shot with a Canon Rebel T2i with a 18-55mm at ISO 1000, f/5.6 at 1/100.


- Jason Ritchey

My wonderful Mother-in-Law reading.

- Annemette Kuhlmann

After taking countless photos of my three year old daughter I saw my dog sitting and watching us. He looked like an old man that was deep in thought. I snapped a few photos of him and realized he was a much more cooperative subject then my daughter. A hat and coat later and I was done. I don't have an external flash so I just used a nearby window to get the catch light in his eye. I used a Canon T2i, 50mm, f/2.5, 1/100 sec, 3200 ISO.