I met Ashley for the first time that night at the Drink and Click in late May. She saw the first two portraits I created, which I posted yesterday and the day before, and wanted one for herself. So I obliged.
Today, I’ll talk about the biggest challenge of making these kinds of portraits. One that was self-imposed and easy to overcome if I wanted to, but doing so would change the nature of what I was trying to achieve.
I was using the Fujifilm X-T10 with the Fuji 56mm f1.2 lens and I was trying to maximize the shallow depth of field. I shot as close as I can and had the aperture at f1.2. Consequently, the plane of sharp focus was extremely narrow and a slight twist of the head could ruin the effect. Usually, in portraiture, you want the eyes in sharp focus. The concept of these portraits is to have the eyes in focus and have most of the rest of the head falling out of focus. So shallow is the depth of field that the eye can be sharp while the eyelashes may not be.
In this portrait, things are a tiny bit off. Ashley’s right eye (camera left) is properly focused but her other eye is a bit off. This was caused by not having her face perfectly parallel to the lens plane. As I mentioned previously, these portraits are an experiment and I was trying to push the limits. It would’ve been a lot easier to use a slightly smaller aperture (a larger f-number), which would increase the depth of field, thus giving me more play if things are slightly off. However, doing this would change the effect I was trying to achieve.
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