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  1. #311
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,560

    Exclamation Noob Alert!

    Just kidding ...

    Quote Originally Posted by jr_rodriguez View Post
    Don,
    I realize I am a noob, but I don't understand why you are using such small apertures on portraits. I thought those were usually done with larger apertures (softens features, imperfections,etc). Also, it's affecting the bokeh, or lack thereof. Any particular reason for shooting like that?
    Okay, I attended a "glamour shoot" conducted by Calumet Photography, back in September. I, also, used to think that wider aperture was better when it came to doing studio imaging. It is, when you do the close-up, but when you shoot full body ... the wide aperture tend to obliterate arms, legs and anything outside the plane of focus. The longer the lens, the worse this is.

    During the glamour shoot, to accommodate all the various lenses and cameras they had in attendance, they upped the flash intensity to an incident light strength of f/11 @ ISO 100 and shutter speed of 1/125 sec..

    What that means is that if everyone set their camera in manual mode to these settings, they had the proper light intensity level to take the image. Now, if you wanted to play with the aperture, you could squeak it up to 1/250-sec, but anything higher and your shutter is out of sync with your studio strobe and half the image gets wasted.

    Doing the math, a setting of 1/250th-seecond is only halving the exposure. Which means you can widen to a grand old f/8-setting to compensate. I defy you to have a darker ISO-setting than ISO-100.

    So, what you get it plenty of source light to properly expose your subject, no matter how they move. The tighter aperture gives you a wide depth of field ... so no body parts are out of focus ... as they move. Personally, the result is a lot more glamour "keepers." If you want to defocus the background, you can select it and do that in post processing with Gaussian Blur. Just always have the subject in clear focus and it will work.

    Again, keep the model in focus, unless you are doing art shots, where the emphasis is on the eyes or some other part ... and you want to de-emphasize the rest of the body. MY take in this is DO NOT try to cover cosmetic imperfections with aperture. Use your PS tools for that kind of editing. It is far more precise and a heck of a lot easier to control.

    I hope that explains it. That's how I got it from the teaching professionals.

    Take it or leave it ... as always, your choice.


    a850 w/ SONY 50mm f/1.4
    @ f/10 - 125th sec - ISO-250 - CWA - Manual - Fill Flash Slave w/ HVL-F20AM & Natural daylight - (post) Gaussian blur of background.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-12-2010 at 01:31 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #312
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    326
    Oh, BTW Don, in your "Interaction shot", the lady on the left's face seems blurry, somewhat out of focus. Perhaps she moved her head slightly right when you took the image.

  3. #313
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    2,152
    Well, I reckon you were sold a pup and I'll choose to leave it.

    No doubt Calumet had their reasons for choosing those settings.
    Maybe they wanted to make sure everybody got a shot in focus.
    Maybe some idiots were shooting with slow kit lenses.
    In all my experience, I have yet to hear anyone propound the merit of small apertures for Glamour Photography.
    In any case, to universally select f11 or f14 is plain nuts.
    This is especially true with the 24MP of the 850 where you're close to seeing diffraction with a top lens.
    Just think about it, all those fast primes you own are a waste of cash, all you need is a kit zoom.

    Seriously Don, what's needed is an Aperture/DOF that suits the occasion.
    Take your first image...
    Name:  Don 01.jpg
Views: 76
Size:  76.4 KB
    Good looking girl but look at that crappy, crinkled backdrop. I could live with the textures on the pillar but not that.
    What was the subject distance, 6ft? F5.6 would have given you a perfectly adequate 18" DOF and might have defocused the backdrop.

    Same thing with the second image..
    Name:  Don 02.jpg
Views: 77
Size:  72.6 KB
    At 9ft and f5.6 there's 40" of DOF and even f4 gets you an adequate 28".

    The third image, well never mind losing the limbs from inadequate DOF, you lost her right hand right out of the frame.
    Name:  Don 03.jpg
Views: 81
Size:  94.2 KB

    If this sounds harsh Don, as an experienced user, you of all people know these things and to give credence to some halfwit whose only interest is in shifting boxes is disingenuous.

    Last thing... "If you want to defocus the background, you can select it and do that in post processing with Gaussian Blur"
    Yes you could, but,,,
    1) It's difficult and time consuming to execute well so why not simply get it right in camera.
    2) Gaussian blur is in no way the same as the Bokeh of a fast lens.

  4. #314
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    326
    Peekayoh,
    That is kind of what I was getting at. I just didn't want to just claim I knew better because 1. it's just a hobby for me and 2. I've only been doing this for a couple of years.

    I've seen amazing portraits from real professionals using f/4 and fast glass. Perhaps they were closer to the model than Don was (I would think so), so the model looks sharp and the background gets defocused.

    Also, I have to agree on the bokeh -- it's much better to do it via the optics due to simplicity and it actually looks better.

  5. #315
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    Again...

    the methodology to these shots are varied. I'm experimenting with various solutions. Rooz's remark about how well the images were from the first glamour shoot did play a role in my choosing these settings, also.

    The next shoot, I will go with the more "conventional" determinations of aperture variation. Time was a tremendous drawback to this particular shoot and I really did not get much of a chance to review the images. This next shoot should be enormously better, because the setup will be more relaxed and controlled. Time is still kind of tight, at 4 hours to do everything, but the interference level by "outside forces" will be total missing. I hate that nonsense. Artificial lighting is definitely a learning process, because the variables are rather ... numerous.

    The upcoming Winter Quarter involves DFVP204 "Advanced Camera Lighting Techniques", where I hope the instructor can help a bit and point out where I can make faster decisions to "get it right."

    Again, we shall see what we shall see.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-11-2010 at 02:38 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #316
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    Don, I think you're doing OK.
    I don't have the b***s to do what you're doing, hiring models and shooting under pressure.
    Just go with what you know and ignore Calumet. Feel the force, as you would say.

    If I were you I'd go to the next shoot with your 85mm Rocannon (if you're happy with MF) and the 135mm Zeiss.
    The 50mm is too short on FF and I personally feel that 135mm is a bit long but you seem to have plenty of room to stand back in these locations and it's a killer lens.
    You might also consider the 70-200mm for flexibility.

  7. #317
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    Quote Originally Posted by jr_rodriguez View Post
    Peekayoh,
    That is kind of what I was getting at. I just didn't want to just claim I knew better because 1. it's just a hobby for me and 2. I've only been doing this for a couple of years.
    JR, you're not alone. It's a Hobby for most of us although there are some budding Pro's present.
    I've seen amazing portraits from real professionals using f/4 and fast glass. Perhaps they were closer to the model than Don was (I would think so), so the model looks sharp and the background gets defocused.
    Ok, but if you're using f4 it makes little difference if your glass is fast or not (f1-f2.8 is fast).
    Yes, standing closer will fill the frame and deliver better detail but maybe at the expense of perspective distortion.

    Consider this..
    A 50mm lens at 5ft
    A 100mm lens at 10ft
    A 200mm lens at 20ft

    All three cases will render the subject at exactly the same size at the Sensor, round about head and shoulders.
    Because the magnification is the same it should come as no surprise that the DOF is also exactly the same, about 6" at f4 with a crop camera.
    If you're paying attention you will immediately see that, to get the same result with a 135mm lens, you would need to stand 13.5ft away.
    Cool or what?
    Also, I have to agree on the bokeh -- it's much better to do it via the optics due to simplicity and it actually looks better.
    Which is where your fast glass comes in. Change the aperture to f2 and the DOF is cut in half to 3" and the background blurs away.
    It's worth mentioning that DOF doesn't transition suddenly from clear to blurred; it's a gradual thing and it's not the same for everyone.

  8. #318
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    Des Plaines, IL
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    Red face Well, for someone who ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    Don, I think you're doing OK.
    I don't have the b***s to do what you're doing, hiring models and shooting under pressure.
    I have to tell you, Peter, I was stunned beyond words, today, when my cell phone went off and it was a "patron of the arts" asking for me to shoot his lovely lady ... in a more than the average shooting scenario. Whoa! I mean, dudes ... this is becoming business, I guess. When I began shooting the glamour stuff ... I really did it just to get a feel for the kind of effort that would be involved, not because I was planning to go down that road of endeavor. You guys know me, by now (I would hope), I gravitate to all sorts of shooting. The lenses bear that out.

    Admittedly, when it comes to model shooting, it becomes a real headache trying to get the talent and the support, together, in one place, on time, working on the prep stuff. I suppose if these people knew one another, already, it may not be as difficult ... but, it has challenges ... and they cannot be dismissed. Believe me, I would love to be able to snap my fingers and have everything ready to shoot. Buuuzzzzz. Wake up, Don! In your dreams.

    So, anyway, this guy begins quizzing me about a kind of fantasy shoot. Personally, my shoots are no flippin' fantasy. There is nothing I find remotely thrilling about trying to elicit "a look" from my model. I am thrilled when I do get that "look" naturally. The model has to be the one to convey the conviction of the shoot. I merely hope to be there to capture the moment when it shows up. You can prepare for such a thing, but when push comes to shove ... the model is the source ... and you are merely the witting receiver.

    Admittedly, I did find this call rather thought provoking, because up until that genuine moment, I did not believe anyone really paid much attention to my work, to be honest.

    Oh sure, there are those 85,000 hits on Photobucket, for my "Bokeh Christmas Tree" ... that was unexpected, but it makes a great background image for a cell phone during the season, I suppose.

    Still, that has to be an aberration and I am working on being better at this, all the time. It is a building process and certainly nothing overnight. The school has been a solid source of critique and testing of ideas, still ... I realize it is up to me how this is all going to wind up.

    The 22,000+ views of this thread alone says "something" about the effort. Yes. it has been almost year since I decided to start this leg of the education pursuit and I appreciate the interaction you folks have provided in doing so. I cannot say it is has been helpful to anyone, but I hope it has been a source of amusement and camaraderie, as time goes along.

    Pro or not to pro ... which way to go? Will things change when I finally get serious ... and mean (dare I say it?) ... business?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-11-2010 at 09:01 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #319
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
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    Cool, Don.

    I should warn you though, that fulfilling a contract to shoot someones wife is illegal in Illinois (probably). LOL

  10. #320
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    Feb 2006
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    Red face Work is work

    No matter how I twist this ... work is still work. Sure, some tasks seem less laborious that others, but once you put a price tag on your art ... it just seems to lose its purity of spirit. You have now equated it to some arbitrary measurement, which varies in the circles in which you move or exist.

    Obviously, my work is not "worldwide" with its exposure. My nemesis, 'Rooz', has seem to that. As "Ruler of the World Down Under", he has ...

    To be honest, just running my name through Goggle is unbelievable. I had no idea how much the world would see when I started this relationship with the Internet. Hiding in plain sight?

    Now, here come the calls. Exposure in photography is a double-edged sword.

    We live to learn ... I hope ... and I also hope this never stops being fun.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 11-12-2010 at 12:03 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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