Canon 5D Mark III | 50mm | F1.4 | 1/250 | ISO100
This I felt was the most interesting image of the day, that I took. Also it’s a deadly straight forward, eye level head on self portrait. I wanted to talk about the lighting, and how to get the most out of your 50mm lens.
First off, I will note that I wasn’t intending to use this picture for the Daily Fifty at all. In-fact so much so, I was very close to scrapping the images I took of this all together. It was just a lighting ‘test’ as far as I was concerned. However, the Daily Fifty is all about inspiring and motivating, so I though “Why the hell not?”.. It looks cool right? 🙂
If you have been a follower so far of the Daily Fifty image entries, then you may well have noticed my buttery sweet soft side for shooting wide open with the 50 1.4 from Canon. It simply just ‘tickles my fancy’ when it comes to creative and unique imagery. Towards the end of this post, I will be letting you in on a little secret with using this lens wide open efficiently, by getting the most out of it.
I shot this image in my office, soon to be just bedroom as hopefully (fingers crossed) my workspace will be shifted elsewhere. *cough* Studio *cough* But more on that at a later date I hope!
I got the inspiration to shoot an image like this. from a great NYC Photographer called Michael Chow (His Website). He uploaded a great behind the scene low-key image of a single subject lit by two lights either side with strong red gels on to give a really deep red colour on the guys face (Take a look here) – You can also follow Michael’s work on Facebook via his website.
I loved the look of this image, and low-key photography is something I have never really tried before so I thought “Why the hell not?” (This is a term you will often read on my blog).
Shot at 1.4 – I can’t stress enough how much I love the look at 1.4. Especially when you have a subject directly in the center. The sides just fall of beautifully around the vignette. Noticeable or not in this image, I don’t know but it’s just something I like to do when shooting.
1/250 (Aperture Priority) – For this particular image, I was using Av mode on the 5D, simply because I like to know my whereabouts with all the buttons, knobs and functions of a camera. And for the most part, I stay in manual mode, but it’s always nice to have the fall-back of Av should I ever need it. I took this image, using NO fill flash what so ever, the coloured gels were used in-front of two Yongnuo LED video lighting panels, and they are what lit the entire scene in a near dark room.
ISO100 – Last but not least, I shot this as ISO100, because I had the available light. I cranked up the lights to full power, and locked the camera at ISO100 in Av, meaning only the shutter speed would change for the exposure compensation, and not the aperture or ISO. In my experience, when shooting with a wide open aperture (especially when using a prime), ISO100 will compliment the shot no end. Generally, the less noise when shooting wide open, the sharper and cleaner your image will look.
Example.. If I were to shoot this image at ISO1600 and 1/6400 shutter for instance. The image wouldn’t look anywhere near as sharp, EVEN ON THE 5D!
I achieved sharp focus on my left eye, by pre-positioning the focus point up two and left one (on the 5D/1DX focussing systems) because I knew this would be the general area of the position of my eye in the frame. I then set my camera up to allow for remote shooting, and clicked a few shots away, moving up, down, left, right, (Younger generation Grand Theft Auto gamer cheats will remember this combination well.) a bit at a time, until I nailed focus.