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08-18-2018, 02:15 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
For da200 , using f:4 or 5.6 is like asking for trouble. That is your image though.
You will end up busy cloning out all the blemishes or pimples.......
No portrait subject (women) like that LOL
You have to post process anyway, the blemishes and pimples are just one step of it, Daniel, that's modern photography.

You still want the hair and eyes and smile to be sharp in a style like fashion or editorial, and that's something to get right in camera. Sharpening in Photoshop is just increasing local contrast, not resolution.


Last edited by clackers; 08-18-2018 at 02:38 AM.
08-18-2018, 06:03 AM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
are you sure you got it right this time? ;-)

I see your point.. choosing background more carefully allows you to use whatever f stop one needs/wants..
Actually, looking at some of my pics, i have done that (albeit a bit unconsciously..)
Coming from a studio training, you actually choose your back ground. There was a rack with about 10 different backgrounds that pull down like blinds and you pick the one most suited to what you're doing today. The first thing I look for is subject isolation through colour , contrast or tonal values. Isolation (in my mind) thought narrow DoF is the fall back position of the desperate. You didn't scout your location and find a place where the background would augment your photos.

Colour contrast -subject is stands out because it's colour is different. This shot also employs the textural difference between the subject and back ground, textural contrast.


Tonal Contrast Subject has different tonal values than the rest of the image.





Shallow DoF is probably the least effective in some ways, because it looks less natural. My eye tends to dart yo different parts of the frame. IN a narrow DoF image the photographer has decide what I'm going to look at and obliterated the details, making choice for me that i may or may not appreciate. Personally, I prefer a more natural rendition.



I would certainly argue an interesting back ground with the subject separated by toal values or colour contrast is more interesting.

The problem with shallow DoF is it destroys all context, and for many images the context is part of the story.

Unloading canoes on Galeairy Lake after an overnight trip.



Last edited by normhead; 08-18-2018 at 06:14 AM.
08-18-2018, 06:15 AM   #48
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Hmm the topic is about 『get nice very shallow bokeh portraits? 』!
08-18-2018, 06:16 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You have to post process anyway, the blemishes and pimples are just one step of it, Daniel, that's modern photography.

You still want the hair and eyes and smile to be sharp in a style like fashion or editorial, and that's something to get right in camera. Sharpening in Photoshop is just increasing local contrast, not resolution.
IN the old days with 4x5 negatives we had to take care of those blemishes with a lead pencil. I really suck at it. Probably why I never ended up being the studio photographer I trained to be. These days I just apply Aperture "Skin Smoothing" and forget it.

If you were Richard Avedon, you could pay someone else to do it, but it was definitely a drain on your resources if you couldn't do it yourself.

---------- Post added 08-18-18 at 09:23 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
Hmm the topic is about 『get nice very shallow bokeh portraits? 』!
And the why and when isn't part of the how?
Without the why it's pretty simple.
Wide aperture lens, close to the subject as possible.
According to you, nothing else needs to be said.

I guess they should have locked the thread after those points were made according to you Mr. Tong.
Whereas I like to start these threads and see where the topic takes us.
Nimble minds can cope with it.


Last edited by normhead; 08-18-2018 at 06:26 AM.
08-19-2018, 03:14 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Wide aperture lens, close to the subject as possible.
According to you, nothing else needs to be said.

.
Of course. Those were/are my images. I decide. You can do whatever you want to your images too
I do not make comments too. You like your way. So be it
08-19-2018, 04:00 AM - 1 Like   #51
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I've always had this weird idea that the most important thing in a portrait is the subject's face rather than the background. Shoot from too far away with too long a lens and you might get that blurry background that you want, but you'll flatten the subject's features. Shoot from too close with too wide a lens and you'll get a sharp background but a distorted face. I'd recommend choosing your shooting distance and focal length based on what it does to the face as your first priority, then just do what you can with the background.
08-19-2018, 04:31 AM - 1 Like   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I have a K3 and a da70 / M85 f2 / M100 2.8 / M135 2.5
"shallow bokeh" really is a bad terminology. You do need to differentiate between DoF, which can be "shallow" and background blur with bokeh.
Those two are neither the same, nor proportional and actually can go into different directions depending on your shooting setting.

The short and simple rules are:
  1. Maximum background blur with nice bokeh (subject separation) is always mainly driven by background distance, regardless of lenses
  2. Maximum background blur with nice bokeh will increase with you moving as close as possible to the subject.
  3. Maximum (that is in infinity distance) background blur with nice bokeh is defined by absolute lens opening, so the 800 mm F4 lens (= 200mm opening) will always be able to win over any lens on the world shorter than 66mm, even if the 66mm lens was an F0.3.
    Maximum background blur /bokeh/ subject isolation of a 50/1.4 vs 100/2.8 vs 200/5.6 are exactly the same.
  4. Maximum aperture of a lens drives DoF downwards and shallow DoF often is undesireable, even in portraits, if you want nose and eyes to be sharp.
  5. A longer lens with the exact same opening gives deeper DoF, but has the exact same maximum background blur.
    So the 100mm F2.8 Macro can provide the exact same subject isolation as the DFA* 50/1.4, but it will provide twice the DoF, which often is better.
  6. Obviously different FLs provide different perspectives and AoV, so some people will like certain FLs better.
    I do bet though that very few people are able to tell FL from watching the average image, so the reported "flattening" of faces often is a very academic discussion.
  7. Shorter fast lenses shine when the background is close and you can not move backwards. So for indoor shots a 85/1,4 is much better than longer FLs with same or better opening.

So outdoor use the 135/2,5 (54mm opening) or 82/2 (42,5mm). Indoors probably 70/2,4 or 85/2 are good options.

Last edited by beholder3; 08-19-2018 at 11:27 PM.
08-19-2018, 08:17 AM   #53
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About taking portraits, I can recall the good old days of having a local camera club making all the arrangement (in heaven so to speak).
Oct 19 portraits in Niagara on the Lake , Ontario - Steve's Digicams Forums

The club arranged the setup for members (say $30-40 a pop) for the shootout with venues, MUA and models who wanted the exposure. And both parties got what we wanted.
Now I cannot find anything locally indeed

08-22-2018, 01:23 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The first thing I look for is subject isolation through colour , contrast or tonal values. Isolation (in my mind) thought narrow DoF is the fall back position of the desperate. You didn't scout your location and find a place where the background would augment your photos.
thank you for the exquisite portrait course ;-)
Shallow dof being a bit overstated he.. I had a relook at the portraits i made during last holiday and discovered that the pics i like the most seem to have most dof. Funny
It actually indeed adds to the portrait that the background is recognisable.
grimaud - christophe gryspeert
grimaud - christophe gryspeert
grimaud - christophe gryspeert

If there is anything you would have done differently on these picture, be welcome..

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
Maximum background blur with nice bokeh (subject separation) is always mainly driven by background distance, regardless of lenses
guess this is probably most value comment i got(from several of you)
I gather if i want a dreamy shallow dof pic i have to play with this rather than with aperture..
something like this (well, it is at 1.8 but it would have worked a smaller aperture aswell..)
grimaud - christophe gryspeert

QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
I've always had this weird idea that the most important thing in a portrait is the subject's face rather than the background
In the above picture, it certainly is. Not sure what the safe range here is? it must be pretty large though.
08-22-2018, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
guess this is probably most value comment i got(from several of you)
I gather if i want a dreamy shallow dof pic i have to play with this rather than with aperture..
something like this (well, it is at 1.8 but it would have worked a smaller aperture aswell..)
grimaud - christophe gryspeert
Your image above has the background trees and leaves in close proximity so you have to have a very fast lens to gain some isolation.

What would make it much easier is if you can adjust perspective and choose location to include a deeper background, like down a straigth street in the city, down a forest path, or open fields, like this here:



I combined two things:
  • move around the subject to where the background is far away / open
  • kneel down to shoot upwards, because the sky is not only nice to see, but it is by default far away
Try to aim for 4-6m of free open space at minimum.

The follow graph (for a specific scenario) shows how background blur develops there:


Last edited by beholder3; 08-22-2018 at 11:17 PM.
08-22-2018, 11:43 PM - 1 Like   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
I have a K3 and a da70 / M85 f2 / M100 2.8 / M135 2.5
And an fa31 which is great for environmental portraits on apsc.

I'd like a modern lens to use p ttl flash & AF to be honest. I have to save up a bit first.
Either i should go into the direction of an AF 1.4 lens (maybe the upcoming dfa 85 or an older one) or i should to put my money on a K1 & combine it with the da70.
2.4 on FF isn't shabby i guess.

Ofcourse maybe I should stick with the m lenses and learn to control my flash manually.
I need to do that anyhow in the short run.

But would like to know what your preference would be regarding a FF vs an 85 1.4..

For everything else i'm very well equipped in apsc such as da12 24 & filters and so, & i'm absolutely happy with the K3..
The first thing I would do if I were in your place, typed two words in Google: Yuri Leo and looked at the portraits taken with cheap, like dirt, equipment.

And in conclusion: for portraits with a tasty bokeh, you do not need to have a full frame camera, your equipment is enough

Last edited by Yuri Leo; 08-23-2018 at 10:59 AM.
08-23-2018, 10:52 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yuri Leo Quote
The first thing I would do if I were in your place, typed two words in Google: Yuri Leo and looked at the portraits taken with cheap, like dirt, equipment.
simply stunning.

yep, concerning landscape i feel pretty adept. learned it by trying & trying...
Portraiture however is a different discipline.

I'm especially looking at your skin tones & your lighting.

no, definitely no need for FF
I should get a k10d & jupiter 135 :-)
08-23-2018, 11:00 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by grispie Quote
simply stunning.

yep, concerning landscape i feel pretty adept. learned it by trying & trying...
Portraiture however is a different discipline.

I'm especially looking at your skin tones & your lighting.

no, definitely no need for FF
I should get a k10d & jupiter 135 :-)
you have everything for a good portrait, just not enough knowledge.
08-24-2018, 05:34 AM - 1 Like   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by Yuri Leo Quote
you have everything for a good portrait, just not enough knowledge.
I think the kind of portraits you make are a discipline on their own. requiring far more skills on post since the models are so close.

ps': '...yet' ;-)

QuoteOriginally posted by beholder3 Quote
I combined two things:
move around the subject to where the background is far away / open
kneel down to shoot upwards, because the sky is not only nice to see, but it is by default far away
Try to aim for 4-6m of free open space at minimum.
I took a look at your flickr account. Very nice series.
Sky was indeed pretty thankful that day(s). Always nice framing and surreal finishing.
What was the event?

Last edited by grispie; 08-24-2018 at 05:37 AM. Reason: added comment
08-24-2018, 12:32 PM   #60
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QuoteQuote:
what-would-you-do-get-nice-very-shallow-bokeh-portrait
To me as I said earlier is easy. Get a good lens and throw those distraction all to creamy/dreamy bokeh.
Push comes to shove, while shooting we just do not have time even to pick the background and these are good examples.
These were from a more typical (not FA135 or DA200) portaint lens (F50mm F:1.7)

at F:2.2

(Distraction: disturbing door frame at the back )
.
.
.
.
.
.
.


at F:2

(distraction: the pants and socks of a fellow photographer at top left)

Around 15 of us were literally swarming the models LOL.
All I did was to focus on the eyes and the rest can be ignored with zero issue at all. If the arms/shoulders are not in focus , so be it.

Last edited by danielchtong; 08-24-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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