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  1. #21
    Ian David's Avatar
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    Yes, that head clamp is exactly what I am looking for, Keith. Probably nobody sells such useful things (although it looks like something my dentist may have hidden away somewhere) - so I guess I should build one. It would need to be pretty robust in case my sitters start to struggle...

    I would definitely prefer to do the shallow DOF with the camera, rather than the enlarger if possible.

  2. #22
    keithwms's Avatar
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    P.S. A *very* easy way to do this is with 35mm... using a longish fast AF lens or just a manual lens with focus confirmation. E.g. the nikon 105/1.8 gives extremely shallow DOF. Let's see, I think that's what I did for this (on the left) quick handheld shot. Getting the focus right is very easy, and if you screw up one frame, hey, it's 35mm roll film, who cares. You can 'bracket' the aperture if you wish. If you do your shooting to slide (e.g. astia or scala or some other dr5 processed b&w) then you can make a 4x5 or larger dupe neg on b&w and off you go.

    Beware that super-isolated DOF has become quite the fad lately, but... I'll admit it is fun to play with.

    P.S. For ultra shallow DOF with no focus difficulties, I also use the Nikon 50/1.2, it's great fun.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  3. #23

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    ian

    the thing to do is get your set-up and practice with a friend &C ..
    kind of like a dry-run ...
    have the person sit, do some sort of chit-chat as you focus and all that stuff
    ... have them pose ... and see how things work for you.
    the hardest part of any portrait is making the person
    not realize they are in front of a camera ( or maybe not )
    and getting your "routine" down so you can focus their eyes ( or maybe not ),
    notice everything as you lock your focus ...
    then stand next to the camera and get them to do what you want , so they aren't fidgeting around while
    you focus + refocus &C ...
    what fstop are you hoping to shoot at ? you have a little bit of leeway
    sometimes ... ( even wide open! )

    Quote Originally Posted by erikg View Post
    ha! Like Karsh pulling Churchill's cigar from his mouth.
    John, what are the plastic eggs for?

    Slightly ot: graflex slr are great for this type of photography.
    the plastic egg is that thing tied to the end of a string, and it is just barely long enough
    to touch the sitter's nose ... you know, like 3rd grade picture day

    and i agree the graflex slr is the ideal camera for portraits like this!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuzanneR View Post
    You can try the "string" trick, where you literally hold a piece of string between the sitter and the lens, figure out its precise length for the focus. Then, when you have the dark slide out, you can check the distance between the lens and the sitter to be sure they are at the plane where you have the focus with the proper length of string.
    Love this idea..thanks ...when I shot some tight heads recently I was always worried that they had moved as I was running back behind the camera again after adjusting aperture....this string thing should help
    Last edited by gerryyaum; 07-26-2009 at 07:58 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #25
    raucousimages's Avatar
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    I use the string trick all the time but i use the corner of the closest eye, not the nose. Some of my portraits have the eye in focus but the nose and ear are out of focus. I love the look of an extremely shallow DOF.

    Another trick if you have the movements is to us a a generous amount of front tilt to give yo just a horizontal line that is in focus then do the same with rear swing to give a vertical line in focus. The overall effect is a spot in the center in focus and the rest of the image is out of focus.
    DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

  6. #26
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The string only needs to go to some easily located spot on the face that doesn't move too much in relation to the rest of the face. You don't need to focus on the end of the string. I hold the string to the nose or an easily identifiable spot on the forehead, but focus on the near eye. The nose may be out of focus.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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