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Random People 12-18-11
Posted By: outsider, 12-18-2011, 08:57 PM

































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12-19-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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What you using for lighing on these portraits? I am really digging the 1/4 lighting triangle in the top of the eyes and the strong shadows...
12-19-2011, 12:32 AM   #3
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An interesting array of faces.
12-19-2011, 12:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywarm Quote
What you using for lighing on these portraits? I am really digging the 1/4 lighting triangle in the top of the eyes and the strong shadows...
In most of the night shots, I use the light from an incandescent bulb just above a tobacco store in what we call the "Old Market" here in omaha. I look around and experiment with different outdoor lights and see which one gives the best angle and intesity of light. I pick people off as they pass the spot I choose and have them stand in just the right spot beneath the light. Some people's eyes are better lit than others. It mostly depends on how broad their brow is. The broader the brow, the more shadow cast on the eyes. Height plays a part too. This is a very difficult way to photograph because the camera often wants to focus on the point where the shadow and light meet on the face, stopping short of the eyes, which is the center of my portraits. The eyes can be left "unacceptably" blurry, with just a few milimeters of "front focus" when shooting at wide apertures. To compensate for this, I often lean forward AS I'm firing the shots to compensate for the front focus of the camera. Doing this in a slow, smooth way, while keeing the camera as still as possible to work with the moderate shutterspeed. This technique is especially useful when the eyes are cloaked in shadow. They sometimes ask why I lean forward as i'm taking the shots...

12-19-2011, 12:49 AM   #5
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Nice shots!

Also looks like you lens has internal dust specs.
12-19-2011, 12:59 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Nice shots!

Also looks like you lens has internal dust specs.
Yes, maybe. The lens is fairly new and the sensor is clean, so it's one of those things I don't worry about considering I don't work in dusty environments, change lenses infrequently and take care of my equipment. An unavoidable reality of modern photography. I've seen those specs in much of my equipment. It seems perhaps that they show up more easily when shooting at wide apertures. I could be wrong.
12-19-2011, 01:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by outsider Quote
In most of the night shots, I use the light from an incandescent bulb just above a tobacco store in what we call the "Old Market" here in omaha. I look around and experiment with different outdoor lights and see which one gives the best angle and intesity of light. I pick people off as they pass the spot I choose and have them stand in just the right spot beneath the light. Some people's eyes are better lit than others. It mostly depends on how broad their brow is. The broader the brow, the more shadow cast on the eyes. Height plays a part too. This is a very difficult way to photograph because the camera often wants to focus on the point where the shadow and light meet on the face, stopping short of the eyes, which is the center of my portraits. The eyes can be left "unacceptably" blurry, with just a few milimeters of "front focus" when shooting at wide apertures. To compensate for this, I often lean forward AS I'm firing the shots to compensate for the front focus of the camera. Doing this in a slow, smooth way, while keeing the camera as still as possible to work with the moderate shutterspeed. This technique is especially useful when the eyes are cloaked in shadow. They sometimes ask why I lean forward as i'm taking the shots...
I enjoy looking at your photos, because its not the sort of photography I generally do. Can I ask about the leaning in when you take the shot, seems a little hit and miss, why do you not manually focus? Are you are looking for the eyes to come into focus before you fire? or is it experience at judging when to fire?

cheers.



cheers.

12-19-2011, 02:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cee Cee Quote
I enjoy looking at your photos, because its not the sort of photography I generally do. Can I ask about the leaning in when you take the shot, seems a little hit and miss, why do you not manually focus? Are you are looking for the eyes to come into focus before you fire? or is it experience at judging when to fire?

cheers.



cheers.
I don't usually manually focus because in most scenarios, the camera can acheive more accurate focus than what my eye can. There are some times when the light is just weird, throws the I.Q. off and the camera just doesn't know what to do. It can't grab what I want it to and the lens jerks back and forth. In those situations, it's easier to go manual. As far as technique, for the night shots, I fire several shots as the lean is taking place. I press the shutter button manually rather than holding it down for continuous shots, although the latter would probably be more efficient, I'm working on just holding the button down for more stable shots. I have the camera set for "release priority" or "shutter priority" for the night shots, which means the shutter will activate even if the camera has not acheived "focus". This is how the lean technique helps. The camera may have stopped JUST short of the eyes, where light and shadow (contrast) meet on the face and before the eyes, but as I lean, firing several shots, a few will be perfectly focused. The lean is very subtle. I shoot with my entire body. A stance with feet a tad wider than shoulder length, shoulders high and square. Almost like a fighter looking for maximum stability with his high center of gravity. Body posture is important when you're not shooting above ISO 640 in night conditions. As for your question "Are you are looking for the eyes to come into focus before you fire?", not necessarily. I assume that the eyes are not perfectly focused for the night portraits, even when I get confirmation from the camera because of the adverse lighting conditions. I assume that the eyes are just short of perfect focus (90% of the time). This may be half due to individual camera/lens tendancies and half lighting. So that's when the subtle leaning comes into play. I should mention that some photos that I don't consider usable, may be perfectly acceptable for some, but if the eye lashes are not relatively sharp, blown up to 100%, I don't use the photo. It's a game of millimeters when shooting at 1.4-2.0 Then of course, you have the issue of motion blur from lack of shutter speed which is also oftentimes an issue. Subjects 10+ feet away are less of an issue because details are smaller, blur/focus inperfections will be less obvious. I guess i'm a bit obsessive. I think holding the shutter button down for a burst of shots would be more efficient than manually pressing a series of shots because each time you let off the shutter button and repress, the camera instantly makes micro focus adjustments to compensate for distance, but thats something i'm currently retraining myself to do. I just feel more comforable having more "control". But the important thing is knowing each model of cameras tendancies and figuring out what works best. During the day, in natural light, blurry photos are mostly a non-issue and I can shoot with normal effort and technique with wide apertures and expect many keepers.

Last edited by outsider; 12-19-2011 at 02:33 AM.
12-19-2011, 02:35 AM   #9
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thanks for the detailed response, it's most interesting. I look forward to seeing to more of your work.

cheers
CC.
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