My niece 12 years old, in my home studio.

Started Feb 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Gavril Margittai
Regular MemberPosts: 250
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Re: My niece 12 years old, in my home studio.
In reply to guitarjeff, Feb 9, 2012

guitarjeff wrote:

Wow, that is lovely. I'm just starting out and seeing images like this will keep me motivated. Man oh man, can you tell us the details, camera settings, lights used and such? this is just unreal. really moving

Thank you for your kind words.

My setup is quite modest. I was using 2 soft boxes with fluorescent bulbs, placed at about 3-4 feet from the girl. One of them a bit over her head that gave the nice key light on her hair. She was sitting in an armchair. As background I am using a simple white muslin.

My camera is a G1 m4/3 with the original kit lens the 14-45mm. The lens was probably at the long end 45mm which translates to 90mm in full frame. When doing portrait work I am having the camera on a tripod at about waist level and using the LCD rather than the view finder. (Live view is awesome). I am also doing auto-focus with face recognition because it simply works. Camera is in P mode, at ISO 200. The level of light created by the 2 soft boxes requires 1/60 with 5.6 approximately. Sometimes I need to override the exposure -1/3 EV or more due to the white background.

Now probably the extended focus range (both hair eyes and all her face basically in focus), is due to the m4/3 which has a longer depth of field than a FF or even an APSC. The disadvantage of this is that sometimes the background is in focus when it should not be. Can be dealt with in Photoshop but the best is to make sure enough distance is left between the subject and the background. Some people obsess with shallow DOF. I don't.

I love to work with the LCD at 45 degree and with the camera at waist level rather than at my eye when doing people because I can look at them, maintain eye contact encourage and/or give instructions. I have both my hands busy with the camera framing and zooming but my face is free and I do not need to look through the viewfinder. I am just looking down on the LCD just like on a medium format camera. It is a matter of habit. The tripod is with ball-head so I can freely move the camera.

It is good to have it stable, 1/30 , 1/60 can produce motion blur without a tripod.

I tried using studio flash but it is much more complicated to correctly expose and set up the lights. I gave up on them, now I am using these fluorescent lights. $100 on Ebay including the soft boxes and support, not the end of the world. One can precisely tune the setup. With live view and continuous lighting what you see is what you get. If I can I try to use or combine natural light as well.
Here is another portrait I did with very similar setup.

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