In this assignment we are trying to get a classic portrait - with some nice bokeh - of your child's favourite toy. There are two benefits to this, firstly you will look back at this toy with fond memories so it's a good photo to have, and secondly you can then put your child in the same position or nearby and get a great portrait of them too!



Step 1 / Choose a spot

Choose a favourite toy, preferably one that can sit upright & put it down somewhere. 

Check there is a metre or more of free space behind them.

Check there is no direct sunshine coming in the window and falling on them - ie.you can't see any sharp shadows.

WIDE SHOT - ISO 2000, f3.5, 1/400 second

step 2 / Set exposure

  • Adjust your lens to your highest focal length (ie. paparazzi lens)
  • Choose Aperture Priority mode
  • Set ISO 1000
  • Set aperture to wide open (whatever that may be for your lens)
  • Assess your shutter speed, aiming for 1/250 second or faster.
  • Raise your ISO if necessary 

Step 3 / Take your shot!

Get close in and take your shot.  My example is below, my settings were ISO 2000, f3.5, 1/200 second.

I am using a 50mm lens, this is a focal length that most of you have on your cameras, and aperture of f3.5 so fairly similar again to yours. Some of you may have some more fancy lenses and we look forward to seeing what they do!

CLOSE UP - ISO 2000, f3.5, 1/200 second

Step 4 / Take a pullback photo

Keep your exposure the same but just step backwards a fair bit to take a photo of the overal position of your toy relative to the background. This is so that I can see where you positioned things and distance to background.


Step 5 / Post both photos to the facebook group

In the comments, tell us your thoughts about your photo, such as :

  • was the exposure too light or about right?
  • was the light too harsh or nice gentle gradual shadows?
  • was the bokeh a nice surprise or a bit disappointing?
  • was the face in focus?
  • did you have another try, if so what did you find worked better / worse?


EXAMPLE - Kit's favourite toy a.k.a. Clippy



CLIPPY PORTRAIT - ISO 1000, f3.5, 1/250 

CLIPPY PORTRAIT - ISO 1000, f3.5, 1/250 


Exposure is pretty good. Light is fairly gentle although I can see a harsh shadow on Clippy's chest there. The light on the face looks fairly god though.  

However - I noticed that his eyes are in focus, but not the nose. Unlike humans he has quite a large distance from the nose to the eyes, so this shows the depth of field was a bit shallow for this particular face shape!

The bokeh is pretty blurry, but I think I liked the bokeh of the bookcase better (above) it was more interesting.