The Open Door

Image of Ian Garadji captured in Darwin, Australia with the A99 and SEL2470F28 ZA at 60 mm, 1/60 Second at f/5.0, ISO 500

Most professional photographers usually have a few favourite techniques up their sleeve for capturing portraits of people on location.

Using the ‘Open Door’ as a background is one of my favourites. You have something for your subject to lean against (the door frame), there is a plausible excuse why the hand can be close to the face (and therefore in the shot), the background is usually darker and out of focus and the lighting hitting the face will be directional (if there is a roof or covering above the door).

If the face is at an angle, stop down to f/5.6 (f/4 on a cropped sensor) if you want both eyes to be sharp (if not, it is usual to pick the eye nearest the camera – the leading eye).

One of the creative projects on my Sony Alpha Workshops is how to create Professional Portraits (I supply the models). Go to to find out more.

This is an extract from my new book ‘Introduction to Photography: A Visual Guide to the Essential Skills of Photography and Lightroom’.

It is available from all good book stores and Amazon US , Amazon UK and Amazon Australia