Kristina, a professional model based in L.A., wanted to schedule a photo shoot when she was in Ohio. She arrived right before I left Ohio on a trip, so we had only one day to work together. It was a bright, sunny day and bright sunlight is usually too harsh for good portraits, so we worked as much as possible in shady locations.
The web sized photo above doesn’t give you a very good idea how much detail the lens is capturing. This is a 100% (actual pixels) crop of Kristina’s face from the above image file. It isn’t as detailed as it would be if I moved in tight for a head and shoulders portrait (every lens captures more detail as you move in close), but for a crop from a full body image, it captures a surprising amount of detail – enough that you can see individual eyelashes. Of course to get this kind of detail the photographer needs to do everything right.
I like to experiment on a photo shoot so we tried a lot of different poses, some of them with me shooting almost straight down and some from a more level camera position. I have had the opportunity to watch some superb professional photographers on a shoot and they experiment too, tweaking the pose, the lighting, and the camera angles until they get just the photo they want. Some photos are obviously much better than others which is the reason for all the experimentation. Great photographers take a lot of “ok” images in the pursuit of a few great ones. Unlike amateurs, they just don’t show the bad ones.
Photo Data. Both images: Canon 5D Mark III. Canon EF 24-105mm lens. 1/60 sec., f/8, ISO 400. Top image: 65mm focal length. Bottom image: 47mm focal length.
When we had to work in the sun, we balanced the light with a softbox as described in this article (which also has a black and white version of the second image).