Portrait of Mom

I took this portrait of my Mom while I was back home on leave. This was taken near the end of the day before the sun set in my backyard so I had some great lighting. I used a Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 lens which has an awesome depth of field and I have been using that to it’s full potential. Before I got this lens I had always wondering how some of the top pros got these awesome portrait photos where the focus point is so small and the rest of the image is gradually blurred and I could never figure it out. At first I thought maybe it was my camera but I have seen other picture taken with a Nikon D7000 with the same effects so it couldn’t have been that. Once I found this lens I finally understood; it’s all in the glass. My eyes are finally open to why so much weight is put on lenses as opposed to cameras. This lens is great and I definitely recommend it for taking portrait but remember it is a manual focus lens. This will definitely create a problem for people who need real fast focusing because it takes some getting used to if you have been using auto-focus a lot; at least it did for me. Not to mention being an f/1.4 it has a really small focus point so it is easy to mess up and have the picture not look right. I do have the automatic chip in this lens though which I think is a must and cannot be done without wasted effort without it. This will indicate when you focus point is in focus in viewfinder that way it is not just a guessing game. This is a single RAW image that was...

Husband & Wife

I wanted to do this husband & wife couples portrait and my sister and her husband James were the perfect candidates. I had just recently bought this kind of cheap studio set up (it still did its’ job) and I had wanted to try it out. I set this all up in my living room which was the biggest room in the house, since it took up about a 10 foot span across the room. I had two shoot-thru umbrellas that I used as the key light and fill light. I set up the background with a plain black cloth that it had come with and I positioned the key light to camera left at about a 45 degree angle with the fill light almost centered in order to fill in the shadows between the gaps on their faces. For a rim light, I set up my SB 900 flash which I had on a remote trigger that was actually behind that cloth. Enough of the light had shone thru the cloth to separate them from the background. It was tough getting them into the pose that I had wanted them to go into but once I got a little better at directing them and they started laughing and having fun with it, everything went smoothly. At this point I hadn’t had the Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 unfortunately or else I would have definitely used that puppy but I still love the way the portraits came out. I did come correction with their faces in Photoshop CS6 to include taking out minor blemishes here and their, skin color correction, brightening of the eyes, whitening of their teeth, and taking care of some stray hairs. I put a slight touch of cross-processing to the image and...