Question 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!
Answer 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.
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