Saturday, August 08, 2009

Portrait of Sgt. Robert Ellis


Cover of the book Caring for Victor: A U.S. Army Nurse and Saddam Hussein, to be published by Reedy Press in September, 2009.

Ellis was the senior medical advisor at the army compound that held the captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Portrait of Sgt. Robert Ellis

My portrait of Master Sergeant Robert Ellis, taken April 30th of this year. I took this on an overcast day in the shade, with natural sky lighting primarily from the right, and fill-in sky light from the left, which gave good definition to Sgt. Ellis without harsh shadows and highlights. I took this photo with a short telephoto lens at a distance of about twelve feet, which both blurred the background and avoided excessive perspective distortion.

The original background was a brick wall, which I removed in Photoshop. As Sgt. Ellis is an army man, and since the book is on a particularly serious subject, I didn't do any flattering Photoshop touch-ups as found in the photos in glamour magazines.

Among the various photos I took that day, my reviewers generally thought that this one had the best balance of toughness and gentleness, and so I think it is an appropriate choice.

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