Some outtakes from my Thursday portrait session with Michelle. Nikon D800e and Nikon D700.

The ones with the background light are from the D800e + 105mm f2.5 and the ones with no background light are from the D700 + 85mm f1.8.

What the hell happened to the weather? It was warm and pleasant in Austin yesterday, now looking for anti-freeze for my camera!

Studio Portrait. Wholly unrelated to this post other than 
as a continuing example of my work....

Just before I went to bed last night I took Studio Dog out into the backyard and we smelled the air and luxuriated in the warm, quiet feel of the night. When I crawled out of bed this morning there were wind gusts of 25-30 miles per hour and the temperature was a soggy, cold 43 degrees. There is still condensation on the glass panes of the front door. 

I dragged myself out of the house and over to the pool where it was still 43 degrees and, after standing on the deck marveling at our collective insanity, I plunged into the water with the rest of my aquatic crew. The water temperature was a balmy 80 degrees and we had our usual Saturday morning fun; getting in 4300 yards of good swimming. I must tell you though that getting out of the pool, with the wind and cold, was a bracing experience which motivated a fast walk to the locker rooms some hundred yards away.

When I got back home I turned on the heater, something I thought we were finished with until the Fall. 

back to photography. I was feeling a bit unmotivated to re-engage with my own photography lately. I'm sure it's a result of what has been my very divided attention. I knew that the best medicine was to shoot something I would really enjoy, with someone I would really enjoy photographing. I sent out a text to my friend, Michelle, in hopes that she would have time to come by for a portrait session. She was happy to oblige and we hit the studio on Thurs. afternoon. 

We did what we usually do when shooting for me or for Michelle; we sat in the living room of the house with Belinda and caught up. We've known Michelle for decades. She was talent for dozens of our ads and TV commercials back in the days when I was working as a creative director at an ad agency and she's been an enthusiastic fan of my portrait work since our first sitting. 

After our long conversation we headed out to the studio and got to work. I'd set up a flash with a 47 inch, deep Octabox on it and it was positioned about six to eight inches behind a 4x4 foot Chimera panel frame that was covered with a 3/4 stop silk. The silk was there just to add one more layer of diffusion to the already soft light from the box. My studio is pretty "live" when it comes to light bouncing around so I placed a 4x4 foot black panel to the opposite side to lower the shadow values. 

The main light was about 45 degrees to one side of Michelle and up high enough so that the bottom of the Chimera frame was about six inches above her chin. This ensures that the neck just under the chin falls into shadow; it's a flattering look for just about everyone. I moved Michelle in as close to the light as I could get her without the light appearing in the frame. 

I also had a gridded light aimed at the Thunder Gray background directly behind Michelle. It served as a separation light. Both lights were triggered by a radio trigger in the hot shoe of the camera(s). 

I started out photographing with the Nikon D800e and the ancient Nikon 105mm f2.5, mostly nestled in at about f4 and worked with that combination for a while. Then, because I wanted to compare files, I switched out camera bodies and started using the 105mm with the D700. Then I switched lenses and tested the waters with both the 85mm f1.8 and the 24-120mm f4.0 zoom. 

I'll post some images when I get back to work on Monday. Right now I'm too excited to sit in front of the computer to post process. I'm anxious to get out and see how the Sigma 50mm Art lens comports itself.