‘Edgar Gangster’ portrait

Dear Mr. Christian Tudor and members of the Academy of Photography,

Firstly, I wish to thank Mr. Christian Tudor for providing me with the opportunity to publish this image and enable me to share it as shot outdoors in available light. I named it the ‘Edgar Gangster’ portrait.


Edgar Gangster Portrait

 click to enlarge

As referred to in its title, this photo has been inspired from Hollywood gangster-style portraits. I particularly find the intense and intimidating expression with the subject looking penetratingly at the lens very powerful. The rolled unlit cigarette hanging out of the subject’s mouth adds, in my opinion, ruggedness, which is significant to the theme.

This image could have been given a different twist had I converted it into black and white. This conversion might resemble the ‘Film noir’, low-key appearance as portrayed in Hollywood crime dramas, very popular from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. However, after some discussion, Edgar, an excellent photographer himself, seemed to prefer his portrait published in colour.

I gratefully acceded to the request.

Using a Nikon D300s, this portrait was shot with a 50mm prime lens, wide open at f/1.4.  Although lenses are not at their sharpest at the edges of their aperture, I wanted to completely blur the background and direct the viewer to the subject’s facial expression, particularly the eyes. I believe that a photograph should engage the viewer. Here, I aimed to have the viewer fixated on the ‘sharpened’ eyes faster and stay there for a while longer. The very shallow depth of field demanded careful focus on one of the eyes.

While hoping that you like this portrait, please feel free to comment and leave feedback.  I believe that such discussions are conducive to learning and ‘making’ good images.

Thank you,

Robert Chircop.



Hello Mr. Christian Tudor and members of the Academy of Photography. As promised I am uploading the image in monochrome. I quite like the effect but as always, this is subject to interpretation and personal taste.

Edgar Gangster Portrait mono

Best Regards,


About Robert Chircop