Libby in Color

Libby, SXSW 2017 Olympus Drink and Click - Austin, Texas

Libby, SXSW 2017 Olympus Drink and Click – Austin, Texas

This is the third in a mini-series featuring the three models who were at this year’s Olympus SXSW Drink and Click. I’ve featured Libby before, back a couple of months ago, in an entirely different kind of portrait. This one is a bit more formal with a dreamy look created by a shallow depth of field.

For my first two portraits of Elena and Laura, I used a 90mm equivalent lens. With unexpected room to step back, I used a different, longer lens for Libby, a 150mm equivalent. And while the framing is similar to my two previous posts, the depth of field is considerable shallower.

I asked Libby to look towards the light, and shot at an angle, only her eyes are in sharp focus. First her face, then the rest of her body increasingly gets softer. The red curtains, less defined when compared to the 90mm equivalent. While the Olympus 75mm f1.8 is a wonderful lens, I find it harder to use. Not just because of the care needed to focus in the right place, but also, for portraits, you are further away from your subjects. There’s a certain amount of intimacy that’s lost at 150mm. That’s were the 90mm creates a nice relationship which helps continue the rapport.

With a smaller micro 4/3 sensor, however, the depth of field is not a shallow as full frame. The Olympus 75mm f1.8 acts more like a 150mm f3.6, which while shallow, still gives some context. It doesn’t isolate the subject quite as much as full frame, which may be a good or bad thing depending on the situation.


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