An "epic" portrait for some may be a portrait that is large as a composition (one that evokes "grandure"). One that shows more than just a model or subject posing in front of a interesting or nor so interesting background. Maybe one shows more than a subject in a close-cropped frame using a tight composition. All of that is great stuff and fits in many styles of photography, but they are not what one would call an "epic" portrait. OK - Maybe I am making a bold statement or maybe I am defining something new on my own. Let me expand: if you shoot a frame that captures a lot of background in a certain way, such that the subject is till in focus and such that the subject is the central/focal part of the frame and you use an environmental background to enhance the composition in such as way that it elevates the scene to another level, that's an epic portrait in my mind. How do you compare that to a regular well taken portrait? Well, if you were to take the same photo with a long lens you may get a lot of emotion and impact, but you would loose out on bringing in the rest of the background. The objective may be exactly to capture that kind of a frame and it all may work fine shooting the tight composition with a long lens. But when the objective includes to grab the centrally focused subject with some emotion, and also grab as much of the background as possible the next option is to use a wide lens. But when they ask you to get the background in blur but the subject and what is immediately around it sharp and without distortion.. well, then you have a challenge. You either have to work on post process using Photoshop and some kind of blur or you need to shoot with some kind of tilt-shift lens. The latter being a bit expensive option and not exactly able to capture the objective as required.
Here are some examples of the shot taken with a long lens at a wide aperture:
And here is sample of a picture using a really wide lens trying to capture the background and the subject:
And here is a frame that captures the objective as required: Voila!
Or how about this:
Well - If you are interested in this kind of thing send me a note or a comment and let me know. Whether you are a photographer or a model. We can create epic results with an interesting approach to the challenge.
Keeping it real!