Open House: Jonathan Mercer

0a65-d998-a5f5-2161Jonathan Mercer / © Daniel Lewis 2015

The third portrait in a month as part of my ongoing Open House portrait series was of the amazing Jonathan Mercer. Jonathan is a Printmaker & Patternsmith who, with his wife Kate Fishenden, create some beautiful works of art.

I watched a great video about Jonathan prior to the shoot and I immediately knew where I was going to take the picture, having seen his shed which oozed character.

This shoot was the quickest of the entire project so far, such was the ease of both Jonathan’s comfort in front of camera but also the fact that the picture pretty much took care of itself – Jonathan has an amazing look it has to be said, with his long beard, and interesting face. He told me that he regularly gets asked to be in front of camera, in fact he’d sat for one of my favourite contemporary portrait photographers, Spencer Murphy, which immediately put me on edge.

Another reason for the speed of the shoot was that I only had an hour on the car parking meter outside, with the small change I brought with me!  It mattered not, we wrapped in 50 minutes, from arriving to leaving!

I decided to purchase a slightly wider angle lens prior to this shoot as I was finding that many of these studios are quite cramped and lack enough space for me to manoeuvre and arrange lights.  I still wanted to shoot with a prime, fixed focal length to maintain maximum image quality, while also maintaining the narrow depth of field which I often employ in my work for stylistic reasons.  Sure enough, the lens came up trumps, photographing Jonathan with a wide open aperture of f2 isolating him from the background, focusing on his face, while still keeping enough of his working environment visible behind him.



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