Amazing what a haircut, a shave and a cup of coffee can do...
This is today's before and after selfie event.
I wrote about waking up with a vision of a certain lens in my mind and then finding that exact lens later in the day. It all happened last week. Was it just Friday?
I made sure the lens worked as it should over the weekend and then, this morning, I used it to photograph a radiologist here in my west Austin studio. I used the lens the way I intended to: with continuous lighting, camera and lens on a steady tripod, and the aperture of the lens nearly wide open. My results were right on the mark. I loved what I saw through the lens and was very happy upon examining the 47 different files on my 27 inch screen.
As a side note, I think the reason so many people are happy when they shoot portraits on a Nikon D810, is that the camera has so much dynamic range that, when shooting in the low to middle ISO range the camera delivers the kind of exposure latitude we used to depend on when using color negative film. This is especially true if you are shooting 14 bit, uncompressed raw files. The amount of information in the files is massive and the dynamic range is very good at helping photographers preserve detail in the highlights and shadows.
I lit the doctor's portrait with LED lights. I use a 6x6 foot scrim to one side, angled from right next to the camera to about four feet out from the doctor at the other end of the panel. Two LEDs were aimed at the scrim. I used a third LED light on the background (same background we've used for this practice for nearly 16 years) and, I was going to use a fourth LED light as a hair light but it turns out this particular doctor is bald so I turned that one off.
I used a silver reflector to the opposite side of the main light for fill.
I used ISO 640 on the camera and that gave me f2.8 and a half at 1/125th of a second. Just right.
When I took the glowering (not intentionally) self portrait above I purposely under exposed the background and took the fill reflector out all together. I also dropped the exposure on my face by half a stop. I did not take the portrait out of vanity but because I wanted to show what I meant when I said I like the focal length and the character of the lens, but I didn't have any great models lingering around the studio, just waiting to be cajoled into posing, so I took on the burden of representation myself.
The lens is quite sharp at f2.8. It is well behaved in every way. I, however, could use about five days of really good sleep, a haircut and a shave. A self portrait every once in a while has a way of humbling even the most self-delusional amongst us. Oh well....
(the beginning of my descent into the new Selfie Regime).