The Drink and Click events I’ve talked a lot about, have turned into nice opportunities for portrait photography. I shot these early last month, just after I got back from Japan. I took both my Olympus cameras but mostly used the PEN-F with the 50mm equivalent f1.4 lens. Shooting often with that lens, I’m getting a good feel for it, especially for these closeup portraits.
Here’s Sissi, for the first of a three-part mini-series. I shot all of these with the in-camera JPEG, without any post-processing, with my often used “MonoProfile 2” setting.
As I recall, there was a large umbrella setup for soft but directional continuous lighting. It wasn’t especially powerful but adequate, especially when shooing at f1.4 – 1.6 and ISO 500 – 800.
We experimented with motion and got Sissi to do a hair flip. I reduced the shutter slightly to 1/100 of a second to show more blur. And although these aren’t sharp (they weren’t meant to be) they have an interesting feel. Especially at a shallow f1.4 aperture.
So which do you like? Tack sharp or slightly soft? In the past, I strived for perfectly sharp focus. And often, that’s what I still want. But I’ve come to realize that it’s not always necessary. The mood and emotion are more important considerations. The second photo was not intentional. A mistake really, since I wasn’t using a soft focus lens. But I like the dreamy feel of it.
I like Sissi’s calm poses. Often, would be models like to make dramatic poses with quick movements. I’m no expert in guiding and posing people, however, I usually ask them to slow down.
My goal, someday, is to consistently make portraits with natural poses. Ideally capturing the essence of the individual. Tough stuff. Because much of that is human interaction and doesn’t have much to do with photography.
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