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  1. #1

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    Working distance between you and your subject.

    I was recently at an Avedon exhitbition and saw some of the background shots, he was working with Larger format and almost 10-15 meters away from the models. Seems he need a megaphone to communicae with his subject.

    What kind of working distance do you usually feel comfortable with and how does that relate to the format you use.

  2. #2

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    I shoot 35mm mostly, but I have used 120 in my studio classes at school. I prefered being about 5 or 7 feet away. I'm a quiet, reserved person, and the distance kept me relaxed.

    I bought a 70-200mm lens for my 35mm camera because I've been getting in to concert photography here lately, but I have used it for portraits a few times. Using a lens that long, I did have to back up a little bit more (I have to be about 4 feet away for it to even focus), which I like.

  3. #3
    AgCl4ever's Avatar
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    Increasingly I am working closer to the sitter or model. I am using a 50 (on 35mm) more and more as my portrait lens because I can work close. I find it makes for a much more within-personal-space look (expressively - who cares about foreshortening). I would go with a 35 or 28 and get even closer but you can only say "who cares about foreshortening" up to about 1 meter (3 feet)! If I could get the viewer to stay .3 meter (a foot) from the print or monitor I would shoot at that distance. Sitters/ models seem fine with working close.

  4. #4
    wiltw's Avatar
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    The classic studio portraiture distance was about 8-10', based upon the type of portrait and the most common FL in use for the format to shoot that type of portrait.

  5. #5
    fotch's Avatar
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    6 to 10 ft. depending on framing. Format does not matter.
    Items for sale or trade at www.Camera35.com

  6. #6
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    The distance to your subject defines the perspective. The closer you get the bigger the nose.

    This is part and parcel of how the subject interacts with the background too.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #7

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    It depends upon my intentions. If I want an intimate feel I often get into a person's personal space more than is traditional with portraits. Maybe I'd say 3 to 5 feet, but it depends. I sometimes feel that nudes and fashion from too far away feel cold, remote and impersonal, which is fine if that's the intent.

  8. #8
    Bosaiya's Avatar
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    For macro work sometimes fractions of an inch. I've bumped the subject more than once.

    Come to think of it I do that with my people-work as well...

  9. #9
    artonpaper's Avatar
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    Thinking back on some of Avedon's pictures, I feel that wasn't always the case. Some are obviously in the 5 - 7 ft range. I don't have an example on hand at the moment, when I get to one, I'll give an example, see if anyone agrees.

  10. #10
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiltw View Post
    The classic studio portraiture distance was about 8-10', based upon the type of portrait and the most common FL in use for the format to shoot that type of portrait.
    Yes, step back. The reason I rarely do portraits is that my father would ask a stranger to take a portrait of them. When they said yes, he would take out his Mamiya C330 and practically shove a lens up each nostril! Seeing all those looks of 'OMG what have I gotten myself into!' has had the effect that I only take portraits of friends.

    Steve
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

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