The secret of successful photographic portraits lies in knowing which restrictions to impose when composing the shot. If you can identify a person’s key traits and characteristics that genuinely communicate their personality, you’ve won half the battle. In this process, the artistic challenge is to capture these traits and characteristics while the subject is looking into the lens. The key tool for accomplishing this is probably depth of field, i.e. the interplay between what is in focus and out of focus. In the final analysis, the core elements of the portrait should be in sharp focus, and vice versa.

In the specimen photograph shown here, this concept has been deliberately taken to an extreme in that the only element that is in sharp focus is the model’s eyelashes. This is in keeping with the principle that the more restrictions you impose, the stronger the effect. However, in order for this approach to work, the image areas that are less in focus must be razor sharp. Schneider-Kreuznach’s Variogon zoom lens provides the optimum tool with which to achieve this goal.

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Intelligent, computer-aided lens design, plus high-quality lens glass in conjunction with rigorous quality testing allow for resolutions far exceeding those provided by a compact camera sensor. At the same time, sharpness is precisely defined for all focal lengths.

The result: portraits that show the essential.