Outdoors portrait – prairie

What an interesting photography challenge- outdoors portrait at this time of the year. At this time, at the edge of winter and spring, it is really hard to find an interesting backdrop. Snow is almost gone, just a few patches here and there. No green grass yet. Everything is.. Iowa brown. Even the water on the dam was brown, although I could never tell why. And the sky was covered in clouds with freezing rain falling, to make matters worse.
So, yellowish brown it was. I am glad we found this patch of prairie grass to add something to the portrait. I used f/5.6 as my zoom lens didn’t go an wider, thinking at 200 mm I will get enough shallow depth of field. I would prefer to have the face softer, with focus on eyes only, but not with this lens. And because of crappy weather, to retain reasonable shutter speed at 1/250 sec, my ISO went all the way up to 800. It is surprising how much noise it can introduce in such camera as D300. It is not as well distinguishable here, but I still wish it was performing better.
Anyway, my husband got some new avatars for his online presence, and he still wants to pose :).