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Photography/Thomas Ruff Lens


Hi Ken, I was looking into a collection by Thomas Ruff titled Expressionless. It is a series of work made up of passportesque photographs with the subject looking head on and with a definite lack of expression. I am very curious to find out what lens you think he was using for these portraits. Thanks!

Hi Tom,

Ruff is a unique photographer because he creates really ordinary looking portraits in his Expressionless series, then in his most recent work Photograms, he creates objects in a 3-D computer program and then renders the objects' shadows in a light-simulating software. Ruff operates in a entirely digital darkroom as well to create those images.

For the Expressionless series, Ruff uses solid backgrounds in different colors; from a stack of colored card stock, which he and the model (sitter) can choose from that best fits their look and complexion, and he uses that as the background. For me, this would make the lens choice easy. Although I cannot find what specific camera he shot with, if it were me, I would shoot with a Canon EF Zoom lens - 24 mm - 105 mm - F/4.0 because it's the one I use for all my studio portraits. Remember, the lighting, positioning of the subject and background all play just as big of a part as the lens for this type studio shoot.

Hope this helps,

KGR Photography  


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I can answer questions as an expert for individual and model photography, portfolio development and networking. I can address your questions about location and/or studio photography, equipment selection, lighting, finding a professional photographer, difference between a professional photographer, amateur photographer and "Guy with Camera, what you should or shouldn't expect to pay for a professional photographer, pros and cons of nude photography, photo editing and more ...


I'm a published and agency recommended professional freelance photographer from Southern California. I shoot for the specific photographic requirements of private individuals, models, actors, entertainers, designers, PR & talent firms, Red Carpet, Corporate and special events. I have over 10 years specializing in fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, editorial, headshots, swimwear, glamour, boudoir, lingerie, artistic, nude, erotic and theme specific photography. I'm also experienced with photo enhancement and retouch and I utilize professional photographic equipment from Canon. My software proficiency includes Photoshop CS6, Lightroom and Portrait Professional.

I have studied photography at the Los Angeles School of Photography. I host educational seminars for amateur photographers twice a year in the LA area.

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