Shooting portraits


A few weeks ago I did a professional photo shoot and it is not something I do that much.

I find I lack experience and originality though. Yes, the images are technically (almost) perfect but it are captures anybody could make. It would be great if I could develop a certain style but then again I don’t do this often enough.

I used my Nikon D300 and took with me only a flash, a Nikon 50mm f1.8 and an old Vivitar 75-205mm f3.5 MC I picked up recently for only a fistful of Euro’s.

Both lenses are very soft used wide open but that is how I used them mostly. To my big surprise the Vivitar has a stellar performance yet it dates, if I’m not mistaken, from the late seventies.

I used the Vivitar for a few close-up portraits and was blown away with the bokeh this lens produces.

When a friend of mine told me he was going to sell his Nikon 50mm f1.4 G I hesitated. He lend me the lens for a weekend and I used it on my D300 and F100. Even with a full-frame camera I was not convinced that the f1.4 would have an added value to the kind of photography I do. So I said no thank you to my friend.

Back home I loaded the 150 images in my computer and finally ended with 107 keepers. I uploaded them to Dropbox and mailed the link to the customer. They also asked for a few black and white conversions.

I use Lightroom extensively. I do about 80% of my Digital Darkroom work with this program. Dodging and burning are done in Photoshop though as dust removal. In my opinion the dust removal tool in Lightroom does not do a good job and I prefer the content aware of Photoshop.

Local adjustments are done non-destructively with levels and masking in PS too, as all of my printing although I know Lightroom has some very powerful options too.

I have been using Photoshop since version 3 and now I am a Creative Cloud subscriber for LR and PS.  I know I could use something else like the new and very powerful Affinity Photo but I am used to Photoshop.

Lately I have been thinking about turning pro again. Not full time though, I have a well paid day job. It is just a though lingering somewhere in my thoughts and wishes.

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