Could you share environmental portraits?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
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ShaharCK New Member • Posts: 14
Could you share environmental portraits?

Hi All,

Just ordered the E-M5 on black Friday along with the 17 1.8 as general purpose / street lens, and super excited about it. I was also thinking of adding it another lens for portraits, though I want it to be wide enough for environmental portraits as well.

Could you share some examples and experiences of environmental portraits with the sigma 30 2.8 / pana 25 1.4 ? Or do you think the 45 1.8 will be wide enough for that?

Thanks!

Deleted010614 Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

I have the 45 and love that lens but wide it is not. Effectively its 90mm and that's pretty telephoto for environmental portraits. Works great for upper body portraits though. The 25mm PanaLeica is being delivered today and I hope its wide enough to do some environmental portraiture. More than likely I will be using the 14mm F2.5 for that though still.

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GIGO

ShaharCK OP New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

I would probably buy the panaLeica if it wasn't for pricing. Trying to figure out a bit about the sigma 30 focal length and whether it will fit me as well

CharlesTokyo Contributing Member • Posts: 705
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?
1

ShaharCK wrote:

Hi All,

Just ordered the E-M5 on black Friday along with the 17 1.8 as general purpose / street lens, and super excited about it. I was also thinking of adding it another lens for portraits, though I want it to be wide enough for environmental portraits as well.

Why not just use the 17mm for environmental portraits? It works great.

 CharlesTokyo's gear list:CharlesTokyo's gear list
Ricoh GR Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +22 more
ShaharCK OP New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

Would probably start with that. I imagine i would want something longer though

Fredrik Glckner Veteran Member • Posts: 3,350
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

I have a couple of environmental portraits taken at 14mm and 20mm in the end of this article:

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-leica-25mm-portrait-lens.html

clengman
clengman Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

Would probably start with that. I imagine i would want something longer though

I think when most photographers think of environmental portraits they think about wide angle lenses that will allow you to photograph one person or a small group along with some context that gives a sense of place, from a comfortable working distance of maybe 6-10 feet.

This is a pretty narrow definition though. It's very possible to use a telephoto lens and take people photos that include that sense of place. It'll be a different type of photo, though. An "environmental portrait" taken with a long lens will require much longer working distance and will emphasize space in the longitudinal direction as opposed to a wife able that emphasize space in the lateral and/or vertical dimensions.

For outdoor candids and portraits I really like my 40-150 zoom. First, it will give you opportunity for compositional variety. Second, a fast prime is not necessary if the idea is to include context as opposed to isolating a subject.

 clengman's gear list:clengman's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm 1:4.0-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 +6 more
ShaharCK OP New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

OK. Thanks for the clarification. When i'm thinking about it. It's quite more of a portrait that includes some background from 2 meters or so. So not a wide angle and not a telephoto head-shot

JBurnett Contributing Member • Posts: 816
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

Environmental portraits can be done with any lens. What changes is the perspective (in other words, the camera to subject distance and angle). "Traditional" portrait working distance is maybe 6-12 feet, both for what is perceived as a "natural" perspective for human figures and features, and a comfortable distance between photographer and subject.  Of course, in a small room, a 12-foot working distance may be impossible.

So, taking a look the approximate "field of view" with various lenses at a 12-foot, 9-foot and 6-foot working distances:

17mm: 12.6 x 9.5', 9.5 x 7.1', 6.3 x 4.7' (rounding)

25mm: 8.6 x 6.4', 6.2 x 4.8', 4.3 x 3.2'

30mm: 7.1 x 5.4', 5.3 x 4', 3.5 x 2.7'

45mm: 4.7 x 3.6', 3.5 x 2.7', 2.3 x 1.8'

Of course, these are all just numbers. Personally, I think any portrait session (not talking "candids" here) would also include some tighter shots, including head & shoulders. And the 45mm (or the 60mm) would give one the best working distance/perspective for those.

Most of the portraits I've done I couldn't post because I don't have the sitter's permission. But these were taken with my old DSLR, both using an 80mm "equivalent" (close to what you'd see using the 45mm Oly).

Very close working distance, hence a somewhat exaggerated perspective.

If it were me, I'd first pair the 17 with the 45. If I really found I was missing the intermediate focal length, I'd think about the 25mm.

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 JBurnett's gear list:JBurnett's gear list
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ShaharCK OP New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

Great answer John! thanks for taking the time for it. Really helpful!

Deleted010614 Regular Member • Posts: 248
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

clengman wrote:

Would probably start with that. I imagine i would want something longer though

I think when most photographers think of environmental portraits they think about wide angle lenses that will allow you to photograph one person or a small group along with some context that gives a sense of place, from a comfortable working distance of maybe 6-10 feet.

This is a pretty narrow definition though. It's very possible to use a telephoto lens and take people photos that include that sense of place. It'll be a different type of photo, though. An "environmental portrait" taken with a long lens will require much longer working distance and will emphasize space in the longitudinal direction as opposed to a wife able that emphasize space in the lateral and/or vertical dimensions.

For outdoor candids and portraits I really like my 40-150 zoom. First, it will give you opportunity for compositional variety. Second, a fast prime is not necessary if the idea is to include context as opposed to isolating a subject.

I do have to admit that this is the kind of environmental portraits I have done traditionally. Maybe not the most creative but certainly the most common.

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GIGO

alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Here are a bunch

I think these are mostly with the 25mm f1.4 (superb lens) and 1 or 2 with the 17mm f1.8 (and one with the 2.8) on a variety of bodies.

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“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
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alatchin Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
and some with the 45mm

But that lens isnt great for environmental... but superb at portraits.

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“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams
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Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 5,070
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

ShaharCK wrote:

Hi All,

Just ordered the E-M5 on black Friday along with the 17 1.8 as general purpose / street lens, and super excited about it. I was also thinking of adding it another lens for portraits, though I want it to be wide enough for environmental portraits as well.

Could you share some examples and experiences of environmental portraits with the sigma 30 2.8 / pana 25 1.4 ? Or do you think the 45 1.8 will be wide enough for that?

Thanks!

An environmental Portrait is simply a portrait of a person in there home or place of work, it has little to do with the type of lens used, but it does help if you can also include some of that persons environment by avoiding very shallow depth of field.

Olympus 45mm

One other lens worth a mention is the Sigma 19mm not that you would need that with a 17mm on the way.

Moti Veteran Member • Posts: 6,895
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

ShaharCK wrote:

Hi All,

Just ordered the E-M5 on black Friday along with the 17 1.8 as general purpose / street lens, and super excited about it. I was also thinking of adding it another lens for portraits, though I want it to be wide enough for environmental portraits as well.

There is no rule stating that a lens for enviromental portraits has to be wide. It is just a matter of taste and the results you want to get and the environment where you shoot. I don't have a preferred lens for envorinmental portraits because it depend on what I do but I think the 45mm is an excellent choice to start with, a good bargain and can perfectly do it.

Could you share some examples and experiences of environmental portraits with the sigma 30 2.8 / pana 25 1.4 ? Or do you think the 45 1.8 will be wide enough for that?

I haven't got the sigma or the Pana 25 f/1.4 but in the following link, you will find tons of environmental portraits shot with Oly 12-50mm, Oly 14-150mm, Oly 45mm 1.8 and 75mm 1.8. And as I said above, I have no preference as long as I get my desired image.

http://www.moti.org/venice2013

Thanks!

Welcome,

Moti

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Moti Veteran Member • Posts: 6,895
Re: Could you share environmental portraits?

clengman wrote:.

For outdoor candids and portraits I really like my 40-150 zoom. First, it will give you opportunity for compositional variety. Second, a fast prime is not necessary if the idea is to include context as opposed to isolating a subject.

that is absolutely correct. Many people in here talk about hallow DOF as if to was the holly grail of portrait photography, forgetting that sometimes when you shoot environmental portraits, you may be more interested to integrate the subject with the background instead of separating it.

Moti

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Roberto Angelo
Roberto Angelo Regular Member • Posts: 337
Two examples, two lenses

Here are two environmental portraits. The first one, I think, has a lot of environment; the photo is pretty much about the setting. This was taken with the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens. Wide enough so that I could back up enough in a pretty small room. This is certainly a versatile lens for any kind of photography, but it shines when you want to get some environment into a portrait.

Exif info here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbaresco/6767958409/

Fantasy World

This second photo is weak on environment, more of the book (right corner) and less of the chair would have been better. Took this with my 46-year old film camera, Pentax Spotmatic, with the Takumar 50mm, 1.4.The problem with the "environment" is that sometimes you don't recognize its importance -- you're paying attention to the subject -- until it's too late:

Paolo in his room, Kodak Portra film

http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbaresco/

 Roberto Angelo's gear list:Roberto Angelo's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus PEN E-P5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +5 more
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