I'd been working up to this position by first purchasing a Canon 6D. I know the mark ii version is coming out soon, but I couldn't wait, plus I couldn't afford the $2,000 price tag. For the last couple weeks I've been practicing with the camera and the new perspective it affords me. All my lenses look different through this camera compared to my 7D due to the crop sensor, and I love it! The 50mm lens looks just as I've read about the true life perspective. My tiny 50mm 1.8 has new life and it looks great. But for this shoot, I can't get cute with the big aperture. I've ruined too many photos when it was important to get more in focus than I did.
I ended up choosing my 24-105mm F/4 L version 1 lens. I figured I didn't need the larger aperture, but instead required the zoom flexibility when shooting toddlers. I also packed my Yongnuo flash and Magmod Sphere just in case I need extra light to battle unwanted shadows.
The setting was next to a small vineyard in San Juan Capistrano. Our family had some photos taken there and my wife liked the rustic charm. When we got there the wind was blowing pretty hard, so I decided to have all models facing the wind to keep the hair out of their faces.
I read an article somewhere that battle-front photographers had a phrase, "f/8 and be there". That meant the aperture f/8 is a good general setting to have on your camera to make sure everything you need will be in focus. I started with f/8 and f/9, then when I felt comfortable with the photos I had, I would switch to f/5.6 for a little more artsy vision. To accommodate the smaller apertures while keeping a shutter speed of at least 1/200 second, I opted to increase my iso to 500. I don't want motion blur, but I also despise a noisy photo from high iso's.
| A photo from the shoot, early in |
the editing phase. 80mm f/8 iso 500
I was very focused on keeping the subject sharp. My apertures were usually f/8 or f/9, though I realize I could have gone with even smaller apertures when reviewing the images on my computer.
The photo to the right was taken early in the shoot. When I zoomed in close I could see a little bit of noise, but I also thought the image wasn't as sharp as I'd like. It was semi-sharp, though I was able to get better images in the past. Overall I'd rate the images from the shoot a B+, but in the end the wife was happy so I'll upgrade that to an A-.
I think I needed more light. I used my flash for many of the photos, but I think I needed another one for more light. In some cases when I shot with the same settings but more light I was able to get a sharper photo. I also think poor focusing played a part in the degradation of some of the photos. Later in the shoot I decided to open up the aperture to f/4.5 for some baby shots and noticed much of the gown was sharp, but not the eyes. Live and learn I guess.
Here are a few more photos from the shoot. What do you think? Go ahead, be brutal. I can take it, I just want to get better.