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appletree
2-Dec-2015, 13:16
Hey all,
Been taking photos for 6+ years. LF for only about a year (and only probably 20-30 sheets shot).

I have an upcoming trip to Portland in few weeks and will be spending a day shooting a model I will be collaborating with.
I primarily have shot still life, landscapes, etc. where I can spend as long as I want taking a shot, jotting down notes, etc.

Bringing:
I plan to bring my 4x5 kit (90mm and 210mm) and Hasselblad 500C/M (80mm lens).
May also tote my Leica M2.
Need to look back at threads/information about "making" some filters seem soft focus/various tricks.

Examples:
Below are some examples (I didn't crop any of them on purpose) of what I visually like. I plan on digging through all my books from Ansel, Bravo, Sudek, Bresson, etc. to get inspiration.
http://i.imgur.com/F3n0BsNm.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/LzoCyErm.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/erX6Cuqm.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/Zj3lFJYm.png

Advice:
I would love some generic advice and pointers for portraiture work (or even links/books to skim through). Natural lighting, using LF, metering, experience in portrait work.

Thanks in advance for the help. I know maybe a stupid thread, sure I could just go and shoot and learn. I do think just shooting throughout the day without thinking a ton will produce great shots.
But since I don't do any portrait work and would love to, any of the wisdom from those doing it for years and years is appreciated.

Bill L.
2-Dec-2015, 18:36
I don't have any good pointers for you for portrait work, but after a year or so of intermittently working with models, let me ask, have you worked with the model before? One of things I have learned for myself (YMMV, of course), is that I can work with a model I am comfortable with, or gear I'm comfortable with, but if both model and gear are new to me, then I don't get good results. So consider what gear you are most comfortable with for the shoot.

I hope this won't be contradictory to the above, but if you bring along the 4x5, I'd highly recommend getting a packfilm holder and some Fuji FP-100c instant film. Better to see some results in the field and adjust for any issues than to wind up spending the day only to find out afterwards that you weren't getting what you wanted. Then again, I may be biased as I like shooting instant film. . .

I hope that helps!

Cheers!
Bill

mdarnton
2-Dec-2015, 19:40
The first thing I would do is look through the monthly portrait threads here, which go back quite a ways. Find things you like, and then try to figure out why you like them*, and how they were done. About the only thing the ones you show have in common is that they're attractive young women, which isn't really a photographic quality that we can have a technical discussion on.

* other than they're of attractive young women.

Jim Noel
2-Dec-2015, 19:46
Use the 210 lens with the 4x5, and use it wide open, or stopped down no more than one stop. This will soften the image somewhat with the focal point being sharp.
With the Hassy stretch a piece of panty hose in which a cigarette has burned a hole in the center, over the lens shade.

Bruce Barlow
2-Dec-2015, 20:28
I agree to look at portraits and try to figure out what you like. I also agree wholeheartedly with 210mm.

Bring twice as many loaded holders as you would possibly think you could use.

Try a lot of different things - subject-camera distance, light, relative heights of lens and model. If you haven't made many portraits, you owe it to yourself to try as much as you can and look at them later to decide what you like.

I give a three-count, and press the button on three. I rehearse with the model in advance, so she knows exactly what I'm going to do. Then I do it exactly as rehearsed. Actually, the three count is "blink, look, snap," where each word is what should be happening. If the model blinks right before I snap, she won't blink again. I want her looking into the lens, so that's what Look means. And I snap as I say Snap. No waiting.

Talk to her. Get to know her. You'll both relax. I also try to keep directions simple, and at minimum. If she's modeled, she should be easy to direct.

If it doesn't seem to be working, stop, and move to another location, just to break the rhythm and start over.

Say only encouraging things, and don't even say "Oops" if you do something wrong technically. Keep her confidence in you high.

Finally, have fun. LF portraits are about as much fun as it gets.

Tim Meisburger
2-Dec-2015, 20:32
I like "Picture Perfect Posing"/ Mortensen is good too.

Ian Gordon Bilson
2-Dec-2015, 21:20
On the "count to three" option, I have had better success with "I'll count to three" statement,and then expose on Two.Many sitters have a "photo expression" they are already assuming for the three count.

Tobias Key
3-Dec-2015, 08:16
I shoot 4x5 portraits with a 210mm. I prefer to shoot at around F11-16 if I can for full length portraits. I like the shallow depth of field look, but at f5.6 you often waste sheets because your subject has swayed out of the focus plain. Remember that even F16 has the same depth of field as 2.8 on a 35mm camera.

The closer you go to the sitter the smaller stop you need to use to get consistent focus. A good idea is to use a DOF calculator and work out what your depth of field is and then imagine that zone as you are shooting. Others have used a piece of string with a knot tied in in it check that the sitter hasn't moved once the camera is loaded. Haven't done it myself but seems like a good idea. Watch your shutter speed too as slight sway can rob images of that perfect sharpness once you get below 1/30.

appletree
3-Dec-2015, 08:46
OH WOW!
This advice is so helpful.
All of you, suggestions on lens, breaking rhythms, becoming comfortable for photographer and model, DOF suggestions, film holder suggestions, etc.

Model
And yes she is very familiar and familiar with film. She also loves to take photographs herself, we have been emailing for about a week to discuss arrangements and plans.
She is in Seattle shooting and taking the train down to Portland to spend a day walking, exploring, etc while we shoot.

DOF Correlation
I was not aware of the correlation of F16 and F2.8 between 35mm and 4x5. That helps a lot.
Having only exposed 25 sheets probably, I will use the Hasselblad a lot (I have shot probably 500+ rolls in 5 years). Perhaps I should consider bringing my 150mm instead of my 80mm. Or both...(that's a heavy pack).

Consistent Focus
And sorry, Tobias Key, can you elaborate on "the closer you go to the sitter the smaller stop you need to get consistent focus". I had to sit back and think about this, rather than just asking and clicking send.
Perhaps, this is because the closer you are the "tighter" the DOF is and more precise. Thus seeing focus plane on the GG is easier to spot and determine.

Movements
What about movements? Should I experiment (not only with her, but on the trip in general). I have watched a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4m70xr9mE) on Scheimpflug twice. I have yet to really mess with movements.
I, personally, am not a fan of focus planes that are EXTREMELY shallow and someone's eyes are the only thing in focus. But do appreciate things like this (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/Evgeniya4.jpg) (I posted before, need to track down, because I was given some specific advice then) I thought it was because of the Heliar, but was corrected that much had to do with movements. I think this would be an example of tilt. Here is a thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?4456-Portrait-techniques-using-camera-movements-methodology) about this I will read through.

Thanks again everyone.

Tobias Key
3-Dec-2015, 09:17
OH WOW!




And sorry, Tobias Key, can you elaborate on "the closer you go to the sitter the smaller stop you need to get consistent focus". I had to sit back and think about this, rather than just asking and clicking send.
Perhaps, this is because the closer you are the "tighter" the DOF is and more precise. Thus seeing focus plane on the GG is easier to spot and determine.




What I mean is that if you shoot @f16 for a head shot you are dealing with just a few centimetres DOF so if your subject is standing they can easily sway out of focus. At f5.6 that goes down to 1cm - shallow enough that the pupil goes out of focus if you focus on the eyelashes. f22 gives you about 5cm. When I started shooting 4x5 I was too tempted to use f5.6 and f8 when I didn't really have the skill to focus and load the camera quick enough to ensure the subject hadn't moved. If I was starting from scratch again I would start shooting at fairly conservative stops and then become more adventurous when my skill level increased. There is nothing so disheartening as a pile of portrait shots that are just slightly out of focus.

Jim Noel
3-Dec-2015, 09:23
OH WOW!
This advice is so helpful.
All of you, suggestions on lens, breaking rhythms, becoming comfortable for photographer and model, DOF suggestions, film holder suggestions, etc.

Model
And yes she is very familiar and familiar with film. She also loves to take photographs herself, we have been emailing for about a week to discuss arrangements and plans.
She is in Seattle shooting and taking the train down to Portland to spend a day walking, exploring, etc while we shoot.

DOF Correlation
I was not aware of the correlation of F16 and F2.8 between 35mm and 4x5. That helps a lot.
Having only exposed 25 sheets probably, I will use the Hasselblad a lot (I have shot probably 500+ rolls in 5 years). Perhaps I should consider bringing my 150mm instead of my 80mm. Or both...(that's a heavy pack).

Consistent Focus
And sorry, Tobias Key, can you elaborate on "the closer you go to the sitter the smaller stop you need to get consistent focus". I had to sit back and think about this, rather than just asking and clicking send.
Perhaps, this is because the closer you are the "tighter" the DOF is and more precise. Thus seeing focus plane on the GG is easier to spot and determine.

Movements
What about movements? Should I experiment (not only with her, but on the trip in general). I have watched a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR4m70xr9mE) on Scheimpflug twice. I have yet to really mess with movements.
I, personally, am not a fan of focus planes that are EXTREMELY shallow and someone's eyes are the only thing in focus. But do appreciate things like this (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/portrait-lenses/Evgeniya4.jpg) (I posted before, need to track down, because I was given some specific advice then) I thought it was because of the Heliar, but was corrected that much had to do with movements. I think this would be an example of tilt. Here is a thread (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?4456-Portrait-techniques-using-camera-movements-methodology) about this I will read through.

Thanks again everyone.

Your 150 on the Hassy would be preferable for portraits.

DrTang
3-Dec-2015, 10:57
bring the 80

that's one sweet lens and lets you be more personal with the model

with 4x5.. I like graphmatics - less messing about

and with models..I like to get them set and then wait...wait..wait...wait until they stop being so modely before I click the shutter

Alan Gales
3-Dec-2015, 12:51
I have shot plenty of portraits but never with a professional model. I've read on this very forum that a good professional model can teach a new portrait photographer plenty so keep your ears open.

appletree
3-Dec-2015, 12:58
Thanks again for the advice.

Experience
Yes, I look forward to learning a lot. Not only from the experience from behind the lens, but as well from spending the day learning from her.

DOF
And I will look into the string advice. I honestly did not realize the DOF being so shallow. I mean I have not done a single portrait with my 4x5, but have shot some flowers and such. Never realized it being soooo shallow. Especially when I focus wide open, to let enough light in. About half of my sheets have been outside landscapes, the other half indoors of shoes/glasses/flowers/etc.

Instant Film
Regarding the polaroid back/instant film. I do own a polaroid back, but after looking on eBay the film was (as I expected) super expensive. Plus there were many different models/versions of film. Some being cheap, but after reading they didn't provide a negative or not a positive or something. I can/will research this week. Although with leaving in a little over a week, I doubt I will have time to find any...even if only 5 sheets or so to play with.

mpbrowna
3-Dec-2015, 19:46
Buy some Fuji FP-100C ....... great instant film and still relatively cheap.

B&H sells and ships fast ...... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/18595-USA/Fujifilm_15435626_FP_100C_Professional_Instant_Color.html

I use it all the time with 4x5 ....... you could also use it with your hasselblad ! You need a PA-145 (not a PA-45 !) ....... Take Care and have fun!

appletree
7-Dec-2015, 08:11
Buy some Fuji FP-100C ....... great instant film and still relatively cheap.

B&H sells and ships fast ...... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/18595-USA/Fujifilm_15435626_FP_100C_Professional_Instant_Color.html

I use it all the time with 4x5 ....... you could also use it with your hasselblad ! You need a PA-145 (not a PA-45 !) ....... Take Care and have fun!

Woah. I had no idea I could use Fuji film in the Polaroid back.
On further inspection, I think I have a 505 back...which cannot utilize such film.

I am not really sure nor have the back in front of me, it is at the house.

tgtaylor
7-Dec-2015, 14:46
Well it's a little too late for this one now but next year you may try this:

https://youtu.be/I3BFwgf1f2I

Thomas

vdonovan2000
7-Dec-2015, 17:47
1. Find (or make) good light. Good light makes for good portraits. A big north-facing window is awesome. Put anyone close to big, diffuse window light and they will look great.

2. Communicate clearly and directly with the model. "Chin up. Turn to the left. More. Less." Have the model try some poses, and pick one you like. "That's good! That's what I want. Keep that pose and that expression."

3. When shooting large format with a model, do a run-through of the shot, even several times. Shooting large format with a model is VERY different from shooting digital or 35mm. In the latter, you are trying to capture a moment. With large format you must create the moment.

4. If you are using studio strobes, it is nice to use a polaroid back to check exposure and light ratios (the PA-145 is what you want, which works with Fuji FP-100c instant film). If I need to check lighting I often just use a digital camera with an extra flash trigger.