The Three Views of Sophia

Sophia - Blanco, Texas

Sophia – Blanco, Texas

I first met Sophia last December during the Precision Camera Expo. I made portrait of her with a Fujifilm GFX 100S. In this simulated old-west town, I tested Fuji lenses, attaching the GF110mm f2 to my GFX50S II to make these.

The covered sidewalk created an open shade, which works well for portraits at midday. After a casual pose, I opted for something more architectural, combining a model framed by old west architecture.

Sophia - Blanco, Texas

The Fuji GF110mm f2 creates a classic 87mm focal length, with an f1.6 equivalent depth of field. However, I find the background distracting, especially in this photo. The leaves look harsh to me, not rendering a smooth bokeh. I’m hardly a portrait expert, and I’m even less versed in portrait lenses — perhaps I’m expecting too much? I know getting closer would increase the background blur. Is that all I need to do?

The GF lens is razor-sharp, but has Fuji somehow diminished the bokeh quality? Is this a user error? I would love to use other noteworthy portrait lenses to compare.

Sophia - Blanco, Texas

This third picture is my favorite. Getting the architectural effect I wanted for the portrait, and the background is smooth and non-distracting. I’m closer to Sophia, which creates a further background blurring effect. And there are no leaves and distracting elements.

There’s a lot to learn in portraiture with its infinite small details. I haven’t even talked about posing and gestures. Something that I need to study even more.

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