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Enigmatic Portraits Of The Homeless By Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries creates fantastic portraits to help raise awareness of homelessness.

|  Nikon D810 in Interchangeable Lenses
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Lee JeffriesImage © Lee Jeffries

Lee Jeffries is an accountant by trade, but his passion lies in photography. 

Since a chance encounter with a homeless girl, he has been using his skills to raise awareness of homelessness and has released two photography books with the proceeds going to charity. 

Originally, Lee started out in photography to take images of stock in a bike shop but when he donned a long lens and captured a snap of a young girl huddling in a doorway on the eve of the London Marathon, his life changed forever. She called him out for the image and their conversation opened his eyes to the plight of homelessness.

His images have been described as 'religious iconography' and he says that's not an accident - he's influenced by the power of religion in people's lives. He travelled to Rome to get a rosary blessed for a friend's sick mother, and this selfless act opened his eyes to a whole new way of viewing life. Lee says he often gets lonely, and to deal with this he heads out onto the street to take images. 

Lee's mostly black and white images are intimate and really capture the soul of the person being photographed - it's not your typical street photography. He says his Nikon D810 offers him a level of clarity he's not seen before. "When I drill into the eyes in post-production now, there's such a huge difference – the resolution is stunning. My jaw sometimes drops. I use the basic settings, and always underexpose. There's no time for anything else.

The 24mm is a great lens. For a portrait, it gives you a little distortion, and because I'm so close, right in someone's face, it creates an unusual character, a roundness, so it appears less flat. I first started with an 85mm but I prefer the way the 24mm renders a portrait. And it lets me get closer; I don't have to stand back like you do with the 85mm. I'm so close I can talk to them, and it becomes a natural part of the process."

For more information on Lee and his images, take a look at the Nikon-In-Frame website

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Photographs taken using the Nikon D810

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