300mm Telephoto Lens and Boudoire Photography, am I missing something? Locked

Started Mar 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,136
Wild hyperbole, perhaps?

En Trance wrote:

I purchased a good wide angle lense

A what?

to enable full body shots in very close quarters

Portraiture with skate-board park perspective? If that's your bag, then you probably aren't open to a serious discussion on perspective. But I'll try, anyway.

and to maximize my low light capability by being as close to the model as possible.

That has nothing, at all, to do with "low light capability". In fact, being too close makes lighting (even effectively utilizing available light) more difficult. Closer distances make it more likely that your shadow will fall on the subject, and wider angles include more background that may be unevenly (and distractingly) lit.

I can actually shoot a framed doorway from 4 ft away and I love it.

Do your subjects "love it"? or your customers? Everything that lives has some concept of "personal space", a "fear circle", a "fight of flight" reaction. For an adult human, that's typically 8-10 feet for an adult that is not a member of our "family" or "tribe". We estimate that distance when looking at pictures by the relative size of facial features, if the nose is a certain amount bigger than the eyes, and the eyes a certain amount bigger than the ears, the subject is at "x" distance.

Working at 4 feet is difficult. If you don't pose your subject "flat", you get football player shoulders, bulging foreheads, blooming noses, elongated limbs, and a general "fattening" look that typically makes female subjects want to rip the photographer's spine out. Especially in the "boudoir" work you mentioned.

So, unless you're brilliant (your questions say you're not. Sorry) with your composition and can create such a rapport with your subject that their expressions simply radiate intimacy, safety, and comfort, that too close perspective that you "love" is likely to disturb whoever sees your images.

More and more, I see

Things that aren't actually happening?

these gigantic zoom lenses pointed at a model that is two steps away from the photographer.

"Gigantic zoom lenses" typically can't focus to two steps away.

I thought that it was just amatures showing off the new lens but even seasoned pros are doing it. What gives?

Mostly, wild hyperbole, it appears. "Gigantic zooms" from "two steps" away. Wide angles that are "loved".

Do you know that the "gigantic zooms" are capable of going to 300mm (my big zoom is a 70-200mm f2.8)? Do you know that, if the zoom can go to 300mm, that's what the photographer is shooting it at, and not 80-100mm?

Every 4-8 years, 300mm f2.8 lenses go through a resurgence in the fashion field. In large studio or location work they put you at distances of 20 ft or more from your subject, and that causes the opposite of the "fear circle" perspective: there's an emotional disconnect with the model. For fashion, turning a human into a mannequin can be a "good thing". Not "my thing", but some clients want it. But that's not what you're describing, because that's 8 steps, not 2, and a crew, in a spacious location, and I'm sure that, even with your penchant for hyperbole and colored views, you'd have noticed that.

So, here's "what gives".

You've misestimated the distances, and the "seasoned pros" are shooting 8-10 feet away from their subjects, like they have been for decades. with their zooms at 80-100mm, focal lengths that have also been used for decades.

Consider switching to decaf, or maybe tea.

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Rahon Klavanian 1912-2008.
Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.
Ciao! Joseph

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