Thanks for the further suggestions. Some more food for thought...
One of the beauties of photographing my brothers and sisters is that, as family, they are almost obliged to put up with a bit of trial and error on my part!
Yeah, it's just one look I want to play around with, amongst others. But I have seen it very effectively used on occasion. The subject is the person, but some would probably say that the eyes reveal the person. Anyway I'm not sure what approach I will ultimately go with for the final prints, but I want to experiment a bit.
Originally Posted by BetterSense
I did some portraits of my husband and our next door neighbor as they sat outside and played cards last week. I don't know how in focus the images were, I was not directing them and I was also using a lens with an air bulb release. I couldn't fill the frame without getting in the way, so I didn't worry too much. I was using a 270 mm Crown Anastigmat. I was hoping to shoot wide open at f/4.5, but the shutter speed was too fast for my old Compound shutter. I had to stop down just to get the shutter speed within the capability of the shutter.
I developed several of the negs today, but haven't had a chance to look at them.
There is a risk to this. I have
Originally Posted by jnanian
come to appreciate that most
people sway when they close
their eyes, side to side, front
very true ...
Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible
i guess one needs to gauge their sitter
to see how sway-ish they are, and figure
out which method ( string, plastic egg, chain, headclamp/rest &C )
works best ... i tend to have a conversation with them
get the rough focus, fiddle with the pose, and then tell them
how they need to be still for a second &C ...
it is the best when the dof is razor thin and the exposure is
between 15 and 30 seconds
sometimes over fiddling around, playing with the focus, eggs, strings &C
leaves the sitter wondering what the heck is going on ...
Another method that I use it to study the shadows on the face closely while focusing. I'm usually looking at details like where the nose shadow meets the top lip. Then when the filmholder is in place, shutter cocked, darkslide removed, I can adjust the head slightly so the shadows line up as they did when I was focusing, and most of the time the leading eye will be in focus. It's not quite as reliable as the string trick, but it works most of the time.
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i shot some head and shoulder, really shallow DOF portraits of my immediate family members 6 months ago or so, and i had them sit across the bathtub (yes, legs sticking out the side, hanging over the edge). since the wall in that bathroom is white, i had them wear a white t-shirt, and them being able to rest their head against the wall helped maintain focus. i focused on the eyes, and after developing, ALL were just as I wanted them! I attached two Nikon speed-lights with pocketwizards, and bounced them off the ceiling in order to bring all the tones up a bit, and since the only 4x5 film i had at the time was 4x5 QL acros, i needed all the help i could get
here is an example of my mum from that little get-together of my family
not edited, but an idea of what i was doing
I use Tilt. It is surprising how much movement the sitter can make in the tilted plane of focus, since it would now run "through" where their head is, not just up to it as with normal parallel plane of focus, where distance is critical...K
Simple solution: just staple the string to their upper lip. If you shoot fast, you can get some great expressions!
Originally Posted by Rolleiflexible
ha! Like Karsh pulling Churchill's cigar from his mouth.
Originally Posted by eddym
John, what are the plastic eggs for?
Slightly ot: graflex slr are great for this type of photography.
Oh do I have a solution for you....
Indeed it is possible to get very smooth shallow-DOF effects at the enlarger- you just take a reasonable DOF shot and put some angle between the plane of the film and the paper. You can easily throw the focus in any direction you want... or in multiple directions if you shim the paper creatively. I've done this a few times recently with slide film... putting some angle between the slide and some b&w duping film, and then contact printing the dupe.