I love taking portraits of real, everyday people I meet. What is difficult is asking people if I can take their picture. It requires me to put myself out there, but that is the way to get people to participate. I was photographing an old building in Guthrie when Luther walked by while he was snapping photos with his iPhone, putting together an estimate for painting the building. I asked him if I could take a picture of him with my film camera.
After explaining to him the camera I was using, he was friendly and patient while I set up my Toyo View VX-125. I wanted to use my new-to-me Nikkor-W 300 F5.6 lens for this portrait. I bought this lens as a portrait lens. It is a huge hunk of glass but once set up on my camera, I discovered I didn’t have enough extension rails and bellows draw to focus up close for a tight headshot portrait. As close as I can get is about 9 feet and have enough bellows to focus. So I had to settle for a shot from the knees up. I normally don’t like cutting people off at the knees in a photo, but this was more about testing the limits of my new lens than taking a great portrait. But of course Luther is a great portrait subject, so I like how the picture turned out despite my poor composition.
Since I have taken this photo, I ordered a Toyo G rail extension. I am hoping I have enough bellows draw with my existing bellows to get a head and shoulder shot. If not, then I may have to get an extended bellows, or use what is called a “top hat” lens board that gives me some more extension for closer focusing.
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