Archive for the ‘Portraits’ Category
My nephew Julian is two years old now! I took some photos of him over the weekend at one of the parks I used to frequent when I was his age. Such a happy little booger, this one.
Nikon D800 + Nikkor AF-S 58mm f/1.4G
I haven’t experimented with bokeh panorama shots in quite a while. A nice manual focus f/0.95 lens was all the inspiration I needed to have another go at this quirky method of shooting. Both of these shots are multi-panel stitches taken with the lens wide open.
I was actually going for a full length portrait for the image above. Unfortunately, the photomerge process somehow made her feet disappear into Photoshopland. This is certainly not an exact science 🙂
Panasonic Lumix GX7 | Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95
I often set up impromptu portrait sessions with the wife so she can record the funky outfits she puts together. This is a very simple set up, with a single Canon 600EX on a light stand shooting through an umbrella.
We’re triggering the flash with Pocket Wizards, and the transmitting unit is hotshoe’d to a brand new Panasonic GX7 I’m testing. This camera’s mechanical shutter has a native sync speed of 1/320th. Pretty handy for shooting flash portraits outdoors with your aperture wide open, in this case at f/0.95.
It wasn’t long, however, until Suki decided to walk in on our little shoot:
So as not to offend the Suki, I made sure she got a solo portrait of her own 🙂
All Images: Panasonic Lumix GX7 | Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95
My cousin and his wife celebrated their first year of marriage last month during their visit from Colombia. I accompanied them on their last day in San Francisco last week, running some last-minute errands and stopping to grab a few frames every now and then.
So long you two. Happy anniversary 🙂
So, seeing as I didn’t even have enough time to finish a single roll on Josh and Vanessa, the rest of this post will have to consist of, uh, more Shiba pictures. Surprise surprise.
Miru (left) is a Shiba puppy who in no way shape or form was able to get Suki to care about his existence. We made them hang out anyway:
Olympus OMD E-M5 + Pana-Leica 25mm f1.4 | 320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 200
I took the portrait above of a colleague of mine, who rolled into work today with a DIY lighting rig he threw together over the weekend. Made of six under-counter fluorescent lights rigged to a speedring, the light creates some pretty unique catchlights in your subject’s eyes, and the relatively low output means you can shoot comfortably at large apertures. Very cool:
Setting this contraption on top of a light stand drew a lot of attention, so there were plenty of subjects to test the rig on:
We’re trying to come up for a name for this thing, and are at totally at a loss. Hmmm….I guess Spider Lightish Thingo will have to do for now.
All shots taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with either the 25mm f/1.4 Pana-Leica or the M. Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 lens.
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII | 200mm, 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 100 | 9 image stitch
When Bridget and I work together on a shoot, we try to goof off as much as possible. Ok, I’m kidding, but there are times when I do point the camera in her direction during a gig, just for the fun of it. The above is a bokeh pano that started with a remote-triggered SB-900 providing some light on the wife’s lovely face. Manually setting the flash power to 1/64 got me the exposure I wanted, and keeping it at that power while shooting a total of 9 images made sure there wasn’t any exposure variance to deal with when stitching the photos together. The resulting file, after merging and cropping to taste, was over 100 megapixels!
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII | 190mm, 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 100 | single off camera SB-900 with dome diffuser camera left
As I become more and more acquainted with the D800, I keep discovering improvements over my D700 that I’m really loving. One big one for me is the way the camera’s TTL metering behaves with flash. Heavy backlighting used to confuse the TTL meter quite a bit with my D700, requiring that I either move to full manual or really work the camera and flash exposure comp dials to steer the system in the right direction. I relied on the D800’s TTL metering over the weekend for a series of photos using flash, including the one above, and the system very consistently gave me perfect exposures, even in tricky lighting situations that used to throw my previous systems. I haven’t had a chance to post on the topic yet, but high ISO files look great from this camera as well. So much for missing my D700 😉
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)
Wait, what? The thought of stitching several photos together to make a portrait, a technique developed and made popular by Ryan Brenizer, seemed like an odd idea to me at first. But the kind of look you can achieve by doing so is really unique. Like any other kind of panoramic photo, the idea behind the method is to increase your final image’s angle of view while maintaining a given focal length and distance from your subject. However, this technique can work wonders when shooting very close to a human subject at wide apertures, because stitching several of the resulting photos together allows you to achieve some really pretty bokeh effects.
For example, at the distance I was from my lovely wife for the first panorama, a single-frame shot using the 85mm f/1.4 looks like this:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/200 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100
The photo above was taken wide open and pretty near the lens’ closest focusing distance. As a result, Bridget’s left eye is in sharp focus, but the background is completely and beautifully blurred into bokeh heaven due to the extremely shallow depth of field. But what if I wanted a wider angle of view while maintaining both the focal length and the super shallow dof? No problem! Lock your focus and exposure settings, and then take a series of overlapping photos surrounding the first photo’s point of focus. Merge the photos together in post, and poof! Bokeh panorama. The image at the top of this post is a 19-photo stitch from a series of photos I took surrounding the first image in the series, pictured directly above, which served an anchor point for the rest of the panorama.
One mistake I immediately realized that I made after the merge is that I didn’t take enough frames to cover the bottom right of my intended composition, though a little work in CS5 still gave me the composition I was after. But hey, not bad for a second try, right? (Wife will not allow me to post my first try because she’s not wearing makeup in the photo. I think she looks beautiful regardless, but hey, I understand). Indeed, the most difficult part of the entire process is pre-visualizing your intended composition and then taking enough frames to cover the composition when you finally merge the photos.
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100
Another example of a single frame shot with the 85mm. This time I’m going for a full length portrait, accomplished by merging 19 total frames:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (19 image stitch)
One side note: I did not stitch full resolution, 36 megapixel frames from the D800 here, but can you imagine the final size of these images if I had? Hoo boy….
Bokeh panoramas look pretty awesome on small, inanimate objects as well. Here’s a 13 image stitch:
Nikon D800 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G | 1/320 sec, f/1.4, ISO 100 (13 image stitch)
I’ve heard of this awesome technique before, but never really thought about trying it myself until another blogger I’ve been following, Kim Miller, put this ridiculously awesome blog post together that tipped me over the edge. To thank her for said tipping, a plug seems appropriate: Head to her blog for a little inspiration, because she does a much better job walking you through the process than I ever could, and her site is littered with awesome examples of bokeh panoramas. Enjoy!
All Images: Nikon D800 | 85mm f/1.4G
Processing: RAW images processed using VSCO in Lightroom 4 / Image stitching in Photoshop CS5