Sunday, July 18, 2010

6. The best of a sequence

For this exercise my sister in law, Irene, stood in as the model, giving Heidi a rest.  Irene was also keen to get a few formal portrait shots  made up and so this was a win win for both of us.  In all I took over 250 frames, but this was over a couple of hours on the afternoon and involved a few different set ups.  The shots that I am chronicling here were the first sequence, before Irene decided she wanted to try different clothes.

For these shots I am using a pair of studio strobes to light Irene and a further strobe for the background.  Irene wanted a plain white background, not the easiest to work with.  I have a long sheet, but it is a little wrinkled and so I am not happy with the background here, paper would have been better.  However, this does not affect the sequence.  The camera used is my full frame Canon EOS 5D2

The sequence of 70 shots here were taken during a 10 minute period, with me providing a little guidance on pose, but not being overly bossy.  I let Irene try to relax into the photo's .  Initially I used a 24-70mm zoom which put me a little too close to Irene for head and shoulders shots, this clearly made her uncomfortable.  Switching to a 135mm Prime made her very much more comfortable as I had to back away.  The time taken switching lenses also gave us a chance to review the images on the camera and provided Irene with confidence that the shots were working out.  Later I switched to an 85mm prime, partly to test a variety of different lenses in a studio shoot.  Towards the end of the sequence the images leveled off in quality and it was clear that we had achieved what we could with the situation and my skills.  The best images were taken in the middle sequence using the 135mm.

Following the shoot I have loaded all images into Lightroom and rated them out of 5, 5 being the best. Only one photo was given a 5.  I then printed contacts to file from the software together with the ratings a focal length of the shots

When I looked at the rating I found that I rated images higher when there was eye contact and when the face/shoulders filled the frame.  The longer focal lengths really deliver a better looking image.  The best in my judgement is the following

This works for me because Irene is not trying to smile, she simply looks happy.

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