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10-07-2018, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Going to try it... Need some advice...

...So I have an opportunity to do a favor for my sister and her significant other... They have been going for a while and I offered to take some photos of them.

I have no studio nor do I have any professional lighting equipment... Unless you consider my two low end Pentax flashes lighting equipment.

I am planning weather depending going next weekend out and about to take the photos. I know the magic hour in the morning and evening are nice times for landscape and even wildlife for awesome side lighting... This I think holds true for portraits or is overcast better? Any advice on times of day or lighting conditions?

I have three or four different spots in mind for these photos already which will give me the backgrounds I am seeking. My plan was to take the K1 II with my D FA * 50 and go after it. I could use my D FA * 70-200 but my arms will fall off most likely after hand holding it for a few hundred frames. Am looking at this right the fat 50 with the K1 II?

Also should I try to use the 1.4 for the bokeh or should I stop down to 2 or 2.8 - I donít want one face in focus and the other not. I have a pretty good understanding of the paper thin DOF you have - I just donít want them or myself to be disappointed. I know for one person I have been successful using 1.4 with my prior DA * 55 that now belongs to my pa.

I know this does depend on how close you are to your subjects for the DOF at 1.4 too but when just doing a single portrait I lock in on the eyes and for example the ears at 1.4 look a little soft which is nice... With sharp eyes of course. Donít mean to ramble, just want to do this right so please advise.

Donít worry these will be free so I am not taking money for my work maybe a dinner and a beer though.


Last edited by gm4life; 10-07-2018 at 08:16 PM.
10-07-2018, 08:30 PM - 4 Likes   #2
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Quick suggestions:

Use both lenses.

With two people in the frame shoot at f/4 or even higher; otherwise you're going to have one out of focus. Go ahead and try some razor-thin f/1.4 shots, but don't depend on them.

Keep it simple -- a few basic setups, making sure to do photos of each of them alone and both together. Make it fun and stop shooting before anyone gets tired of posing. That way they'll be willing to do it again.
10-07-2018, 09:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
Quick suggestions:

Use both lenses.

With two people in the frame shoot at f/4 or even higher; otherwise you're going to have one out of focus. Go ahead and try some razor-thin f/1.4 shots, but don't depend on them.

Keep it simple -- a few basic setups, making sure to do photos of each of them alone and both together. Make it fun and stop shooting before anyone gets tired of posing. That way they'll be willing to do it again.
Good idea, I will do some thin DOF shots but will stop down the lens a little bit to ensure both are in focus.
10-08-2018, 07:30 AM   #4
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Take a monopod for the 70-200 shots.
Do you have a flash?
Do you have anything reflective you can get someone to hold to put light where you want?

10-08-2018, 08:14 AM   #5
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plan the shots, I’d take also something wider if possible with me. and that 70-200 for sure. even if you have lowend flash it can work with diffuser if you manage to get it close up. i.e shooting with 70-200 . even little flash help when you pp pictures afterward. so plan your time with 70-200 and have a bag what you can place securely on the ground so you can change it on and of just when needed. I prefer to use floor/ground instead of chair and table because things dont fall so far from ground level..also what said on reflecting surface, it could become handy even with flash.
10-08-2018, 06:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Take a monopod for the 70-200 shots.
Do you have a flash?
Do you have anything reflective you can get someone to hold to put light where you want?
Ummmm no to the second person... However I do have a the Pentax 201 and 200 flash not sure what the first letter / number combo is. I donít have a monopod but do have a couple tripods. I was trying to keep this informal and am not a tripod guy but can sure bring them.

---------- Post added 10-08-18 at 06:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
plan the shots, Iíd take also something wider if possible with me. and that 70-200 for sure. even if you have lowend flash it can work with diffuser if you manage to get it close up. i.e shooting with 70-200 . even little flash help when you pp pictures afterward. so plan your time with 70-200 and have a bag what you can place securely on the ground so you can change it on and of just when needed. I prefer to use floor/ground instead of chair and table because things dont fall so far from ground level..also what said on reflecting surface, it could become handy even with flash.
Absolutely I was planning on using the 50 for most but was wondering if the 70-200 belonged in the bag since... I am fully willing to walk to get the ďzoomĒ I want.
10-08-2018, 06:47 PM - 1 Like   #7
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The 70-200 will give great flexibility. The monopod was for mobility without the lens becoming too heavy. The 50 is also exceptional. The tripod is possibly useful but it may box you in and keep you from doing what you need to find the angles.

Flash. Do bring it. If it can be set to a low power fill mode you can get catchlights in eyes and fill the shadows gently.

Compare these. 1 is with fill from onboard k-3 flash the other isn't.


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10-10-2018, 06:04 AM   #8
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Even some white foam core sheets can make a difference with soft lighting. Just be aware of light, and you should be OK.

10-12-2018, 06:20 AM   #9
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Lots of good advice here, so I'll just add:
Get an app to calculate DOF and mess around with it to get familiar with DOF at various apertures and distances.
Visit the location to plan your shots; take notes so that you're not wasting time and light at the actual shoot.
Make sure you have enough separation from the background to get a pleasing result
Maybe bring something a little wider, like a 35 mm at least.
Tack sharp is not needed for these shots, but be careful of thin DOF. There should be no part of the subject that goes out of focus. That includes fingertips when taking a shot of the ring on her hand (though you may need to soften it a bit in post). It's too artsy for most couples.
A pack of one inch Styrofoam foam insulation panels with bamboo plant stakes make good one off, inexpensive reflectors.

Good luck and have fun.
10-12-2018, 03:16 PM - 1 Like   #10
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A 50mm lens on a full frame camera would not be my first choice for tight head and shoulders shots. Further back should be fine but your mileage may vary. The 70-200mm zoomed in the 80 to 120mm range would be a better choice for those close up shots. As for the weight, one must be willing to suffer for one's art (hehehe). Or maybe shoot in crop mode with the 50mm.

For out of focus backrounds, make sure that whatever is there is far, far away. If you can do that, the adventurous shots at f/1.4 would not be necessary. But do take some of them anyway. When you get it right, the results are magical.
10-22-2018, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Well... I did them with the D FA * 50 and K1 Mark II only. They turned out pretty darn well. I will attach a few in the next week or so. Thanks for all the advice!
10-26-2018, 12:49 PM   #12
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If you go for the golden hours, and if you can bring a friend/relative/assistant, find yourself a nice golden reflector (a few bucks) and either reflect sunlight, or your flash, on it and towards the subject.

I really like having a reflector just below my camera, and the Sun behind a subject, during the golden hour. Works wonders, adds a touch of flare (and flair) to the pictures.

If you work with the 70-200, you'll be able to get farther away from your subject, and you could use the flash directly, the distance means the light won't be as harsh. You could presumably use the second one as a fill flash on one side (best if you have an assistant, too).

Take your time, experiment, don't overpromise, it's your first time so expectations shouldn't be too high.

If possible, experiment BEFORE, so you'll enjoy the moment more. Oh! and decide on some poses BEFORE. There are apps filled with examples that you can use, to better guide your subjects who will not know how to stand or move.
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