I had to renew my ten year passport and it is now possible to apply online and provide a digital photograph created by the applicant, this can be made with as little as a mobile phone and a plain background. Unfortunately, I don’t have a mobile with this ability; so I used my DSLR and lights.
The requirements (with photo examples) are explained on the website and online application form. The applicant must stand in front of a plain background 1.5m away to avoid shadow, wear a plain shirt or top, hold a deadpan expression and produce a portrait ratio showing both full face and top torso and the photo must be evenly lit. Maximum image file size 10mb, the image must not be adjusted or edited.
I used my Nikon D800e set to medium quality JPEG, white balanced using a grey card, 50mm f/2.8 at F/10, 1/100 sec. Manually focused too 4ft. I sat on a bar stool. Lighting consisted of two Bowen lights bounced off umbrellas and placed either side of the camera, a large soft box placed behind me lit by a Nikon SB910 speed light set to one quarter power. I used an incident light meter for setting my camera to the correct exposure, and my lighting was controlled by Pocket Wizards, that are also compatible with my light meter. My camera was mounted on a tripod and tripped using a remote control that I had in my hands. Image size 7.5mb.
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