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02-08-2014, 12:41 AM   #1
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Location: Port Townsend, Washington State, USA
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First theater headshot with K3, 100% crop

I do volunteer work at a local playhouse. On Thursday, I did this headshot with the DA 50-135, f2.8. This woman is a talented actress and playwright.

Handheld, 1/125s, 200 iso, f4.5, 85mm



100% crop


The hair detail blew me away when i looked at this picture. The hair is more focused than the frontal part of the face. Not sure if the lens is backfocusing a bit on me - something to check out.

I can see where one might not want pore type detail for portraits. Is anyone turning on the AA filter to blur things a bit?


Last edited by philbaum; 02-08-2014 at 01:03 AM.
02-08-2014, 01:19 AM   #2
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Awesome, I don't have k-3 but I wouldn't turn AA filter on, I better get sharpest RAW and do necessary in PP.
02-08-2014, 01:59 AM   #3
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I also have an issue with k3 when focusing on eyes.the focus catch one eye only!
02-08-2014, 05:36 AM   #4
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Test out using a tripod. I thought I was back focusing before, but it turned out I was rocking forward on my toes between focus and shot.
At 85mm f4.5, you would have a DOF of just 3 1/2 inches; a slight shift can push your focal plain from eyes to ears.

02-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Good one. The detail is stunning. I like your lighting, too. Pretty dramatic.
02-08-2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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Really good detail in the blacks! Shows good dynamic range. In camera or did you push it in Lightroom/photoshop?
02-08-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for the comments

@Gosman - yes, pushed the exp .7ev in LR. Also repositioned the black point and raised the shadows - good observation :-)

@Kozlok - Thanks, i try for the dramatic style. Shooting for the theatre means field work basically, one doesn't have a studio setup. And one can't count on any specific location due to stage construction - whatever. So recently, i carry a single manual flash with a 20x20" softbox and a portable flash stand for headshots. Use cheap cactus radio transmitter to trigger it. don't even use my Metz Pttl flash anymore. Used 2 flashes for the group shot only, triggering the fill flash from the radio triggered key flash.

@manacho - thanks for the dof calculation. it was shallower than i expected.

@mohie - can't recall exactly where i was focusing on her. People were sort of waiting around so didn't have a lot of time to mess around too much. Good thing about the K3, so much resolution that being a bit off doesn't matter much.

@yosuf - good point, one can always lower clarity and sharpness with a brush or globally.

Actually did 6 more headshots that day including a retired Hollywood actor. He told the director that he didn't need a head shot, had several in file he could send in. Theater's Director told him - "oh come on in, we have a professional photographer who does them for free" I had watched him several times in shows when i was a kid and it was a treat to meet him in person. Director thought it would look good "in your portfolio". I've been working for this theatre for 4 going on 5 years, and they find nice ways of thanking one - at least this theatre does. (tip- go find your local community theatre and see if they need photographic help :-))

Don't exactly like where Ricoh placed the AF button but i'll get used to it.

Last edited by philbaum; 02-08-2014 at 02:33 PM.
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