Maasai Warrior, Kenya, 2011

IF IT’S TEMPTING TO THINK that all this discussion about composition and lines and depth appeals only to some disciplines within photography and not, for example, to portraiture, then I want to dispel that notion as best I can here. This portrait of a Maasai warrior was made during a session with the Maasai on one of my safari tours. He patiently posed for us while I showed a couple of students what you can accomplish with a little indirect light and a total lack of gear.

I want to talk specifically about a couple things here, so I’m going to be brief on the other details. By now you should have a sense for the basics—for example, why I chose to orient this frame vertically, and why I chose a shallow aperture (f/2.8), ...

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