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03-26-2009, 09:55 AM   #31
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Those are terrific, Daniel!

03-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #32
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The best of the above shots are also carefully lit. The least successful images IMHO have subjects insufficiently distinct from the backgrounds - contrast makes them pop, sameness (in tone and density) loses them. Ah, for the days of dodging and burning...
03-26-2009, 10:11 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I use all sorts of focal lengths for portraits, each focal length has a look and feel I associate them to.
Diego,

Very impressive portraits. You've done very well with your gears.

Thanks for sharing.
03-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Something that no one seems to have picked up on with using longer lenses for portraiture is controlling the background.
The longer lens is not only more flattering to the subject than a shorter one, but it limits how much background is seen in the picture.
This can be very important if you have a busy background or are shooting in front of a narrow backdrop..



Busy background like this (ha from a Nikon shooter from a short lens). Taken last year in an amateurish fashion show in Toronto














The red Chinese characters of the banner (very close at the back) was turned into a creamy paste of color only




















Daniel

03-31-2009, 01:03 AM   #35
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Thank you guys!

-Diego
04-05-2009, 12:33 PM   #36
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Great thread everyone!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if you were doing portraits for a living, your 50 would never leave your camera bag.
I have seen enough images to contradict that. Especially since a 50mm is likely to be the fastest lens on hand, for minimal DOF and OOF backgrounds.

QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
All the above makes perfect sense, however one area has been missed - 50-80mm (APS-C) is a comfortable working distance for the photographer, and for the person being photographed.

Any closer and you begin to feel too intimate and awkward. Any further and you begin to feel disjointed from the shot.
The comfort of the subject is so important. I guess that's why much telephoto focal lengths are preferred by some candid shooters. The subject doesn't even notice them taking the picture.
04-06-2009, 01:52 AM   #37
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I am different I guess.


Face : 35/3.5


Head & Shoulder : 50/1.4


Half body : 85/1.8


Whole body : 135/3.5


Last edited by Zewrak; 04-06-2009 at 01:57 AM.
04-06-2009, 01:59 AM   #38
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No rules on how to use the focal lengths. I don't use any formulas and I don't think anyone should. Rules and formulas can guide you but we should learn to break them as they can also restrict us.

21mm:




70mm:


04-06-2009, 03:43 PM   #39
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At this point, I'll interject my tock speech on "rules" in music theory, as I think it applies just as well to focal length / subejct distance "rules"

These rules are not like the laws that tell us what we can and cannot do. There are like the law of gravity. You cannot break the law of gravity - if you drop an object, it *will* tend to fall toward the earth. Gravity doesn't tell you whether you *should* drop it or not; it tells what will happen *if* you do.

Similarly, there is not rule that tells us we *cannot* use a short focal length and correpondingly close distance for tight portraits; but the "rule" tells us what happens to persepctive *if* you do. If you want the effect of very close subject distance and a wide angle lens, by all means, use it! Ditto for the "flattening" effect of long subject distances.

Note with gravity, there are things you can do things to counteract gravity - you can choose to catch the object in your other hand, or have it suspended by a string, or give it an airfoil shape, or make it lighter than air, etc. And there similaryly things you can do to minimize the perspective effects of different distances (angle of the head, use of makeup, etc). None of this is "breaking" the rules, though; they are unbreakable. What we are doing is deciding to what extent we wish to *accept* the consequences predicted by the rules, or whether we are performing other actions to mitigate those consequences.
04-06-2009, 08:12 PM   #40
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Now THOSE are rules (effects of focal lengths and gravity) that are unbreakable, no argument there What I meant were those "rules" such as rule of thirds, telephoto for portraits etc etc. They can help make a photo "work", but should be considered as "guidelines" or tips
04-07-2009, 08:52 AM   #41
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I like the playfulness a wider angle lens can give when taking headshots of kids; my 3 year daughter is still small enough that with my "massive" frame of 5'6", I can still a straight down shot of her (left: DA 21mm, right: DA 70mm).

04-07-2009, 11:50 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
Now THOSE are rules (effects of focal lengths and gravity) that are unbreakable, no argument there What I meant were those "rules" such as rule of thirds, telephoto for portraits etc etc. They can help make a photo "work", but should be considered as "guidelines" or tips
I look at all of these the same way, actually. The "rule of thirds" is also like gravity - it is what it is. Putting a subject at one of those points *will* have a particular effect on the photo, just as dropping a pencil *will* have a particular effect on the pencil. Whether or not you choose to use that effect is entirely up to you. As far as I am concerned, they are *all* just "tips".
04-07-2009, 12:42 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
As far as I am concerned, they are *all* just "tips".
That would be where gravity is different -- you cannot choose to ignore it!
04-07-2009, 12:56 PM   #44
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legacyb4 > I'm with you there, the DA21 is such an awesome lens for people! Much more interesting photos!
04-07-2009, 04:54 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
That would be where gravity is different -- you cannot choose to ignore it!
Sure you can - and you get *exactly* the effect that gravity demands: you fall toward the earth. That's my whole point. *None* of these rules say the first thing about what you *should* do. They are all "cause and effect* rules: *if* you do X, *then* Y will result. As such, they are *all* unbreakable. But again, none of them tell you if you *should* do X or not. The rule gives you the information you need to make your own decision: if you want Y to happen, then by all means, do X. If you don't want Y, then don't do X.
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