Portrait of Mr Toh Weng Cheong, Chairman of Singapore Lyrical Opera, Magistrate, Lawyer
The shoot would be done at Mr Toh’s office at the law firm and should show his collection of opera posters. Enter Freelensing – shooting with the lens detached from the camera body and tilted at an angle. I had been using this technique in my weddings and engagements work to alter the plane of focus, to create additional isolation and crazy out of focus dreamy effects. It is slow working wide open aperture with manual focus lens, it is even slower when you add the element of freehand tilting without precision control. Results are much harder to guarantee but its the risk taking that sometimes make a difference. I started with a conservative slight tilt angle and worked my way forward until I got both the subject’s face and the foreground desktop items (the calendar, pen and book) in the same plane of focus (see the black and white photo below the tearsheets). The selected frame for publication had a more modest tilt but much better facial expression, though I personally like the black and white one better. The vignetting is a side effect from free-lensing.
Here are the tear sheet scans.