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Site testing for an engagement shoot (Sophia)

Discussion in 'People' started by Kemnik, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    I took my trusty model (after bribing her with a Jamba Juice) to the Santa Clara University Mission to test the location for an upcoming engagement shoot. I had some ideas of using stairs, pillars, cathedral doors, etc. and here are some of the results. I didn't make her pose, she is a kid and I just try and make it fun with her, but she had some funny poses for sure. Fortunately she was pretty willing, except for some of the shots where her obvious expression shows it. These were with the D200 and D300, using either the 35 F2 or 85 1.4, mixed off camera flash (through umbrella) or natural light.

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  2. those are really good imo. :smile:
  3. bradNYC


    Mar 28, 2008
    these are really fantastic! you're lucky she's so willing, love all the poses, the last b&w is my favorite
  4. PhotogWannabe


    Mar 19, 2007
    Everyone one of those are just plain sweet.
  5. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    I enjoyed these Kurt. Beautiful daughter!
  6. 5 and 8 are too sweet for words!! Beautiful location!!
  7. Excellent set Kurt. Sophia is so lovely, as usual.

    I'm sure the couple will love the engagement photos.
  8. The first shot is awesome...great capture! All the images are well done.
  9. Those are just precious!
  10. I really like 2 and 3. Great series of a real cutie!
  11. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA

    Thank you!

    Thanks, she is a clone of her mommy for sure.

    Thanks Sonya, the location is so nice; although I didn't really show too much of it. I'll have to shoot wider for the actual couple.

    Thanks Phil, I hope all is well with your family since we last spoke.

    Thanks, that is my favorite too!!


    Thanks! Yeah she had her moments and overall was very helpful to me to see how the lighting looked.

    Thanks Mitchell!! I hope your kids are doing well, I always enjoy your pictures.
  12. Kurt, forget about engagement shoots. You should be specializing in kids. That's an amazing set of pictures.
  13. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Whoa, Kurt! These are outstanding. Skin tones on the color images are dreamy! :biggrin:
  14. This pair of shots blows me away.

    Did you use negative clarity on this one?

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    Nice conversion! What technique?

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    The exif data is gone, but I'm guessing the Cream Machine for the first, and the Lowly 35 for the second. Which camera, though?
  15. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks Frank!! I'd go broke from all the bribery costs. This shoot was the first time I tried shooting with both cameras around my neck. Worked out well, but not sure I'd want to do it all day long. The Black Rapid 'R' strap certainly helped out a ton.

    For that first shot you selected, a touch of negative clarity, but mostly blessed with a three year olds complexion and also a very overcast day. You are right 85 1.4 probably at F2 or so. I had the 85 on the D200 with no grip or flash (light weight natural light setup) and the BW shot you mentioned was with the "lowly" 35 on the D300 (it had the SB800 on board, but was not used here). I missed focus a bit, but the expression was priceless so I kept it. I'm really liking that 35 F2. The BW was a lightroom action. I'll send it to you when I get home. But most of the time, I use Fred Miranda's BW conversion in photoshop.

    Other observations since shooting both bodies, The D200 handles skin way better than the D300 in my opinion though. The thing I'm liking about the D300 though is the menu responsiveness. I can menu dive into the commander mode and each time I press the button, it is instant response. So I'm usually doing off camera flash with that one and keeping the D200 as my portrait, fast glass rig (for now anyway ;)  I wish I can combine the best of both cameras into one or just be all about the D300, but the D200 is just better in certain areas. Mostly image quality and color rendition, not operation or handling.
  16. dgh3


    Mar 13, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    The pictures are great! Beautiful daughter and exceptional poses. Very nice, subtle and effective processing.

    But, it's hard to evaluate your venue unless you think you'll be there on an overcast day. Much of the exceptional nature of your shots is the light ... obviously. Overcast is very nice, but direct sunlight isn't as it esepcially tends to blow out the hightlights in the wedding gown which is all important, pretty much. Also, the bokeh of the shots will change dramatically when you stop down the lens, as you'd have to with more light. Generally, the bokeh becomes quite harsh, even with "legendary" portrait lenses like a 105 or a 135 DC (and there AIS ancestors).

    Are there nice overhung porches or grape arbors, or other attractive places with shading? Perhaps, there are some nice stands of tall shade trees?

    I'd scout out the venue for both overcast and not overcast situations, at the same time of day as I'd be shooting the event. You don't want direct sunlight shots unless they can't be avoided, and advance planning might help quite a bit.

    Dave Harris
  17. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    thanks Dave. I completely agree and was bummed I wasn't faced with more realistic conditions. Fortunately I did find that this place had plenty of shady spots which should always be that way (e.g., hallways with pillars, shaded building sides, etc.). I'll definetely go back again. I have till mid Oct so I'll be sure to check it out again. I shouldn't have to stop down too much though with a 1,8000th shutter limit. We will see.
  18. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA

    Correction, I just checked LR history, no negative clarity on that one shot. SOOC except white balance and a bit extra on the vibrancy slider. Got lucky on those for sure.
  19. Awesome shots Kurt. You're daughter is really gonna be a looker!! I hope you got a pistol or two locked away at home.
  20. Kemnik


    Aug 21, 2007
    San Jose, CA
    Thanks Keith! I may have to trade in a few lenses for a glock one day. For now I have an SB800 by the bed set to stun mode (full power, manual, test button ready to hit) should I need to stun someone. That's sort of funny, but serioiusly not a bad thing to keep by the bed, I'm sure it would mess someone up for a few seconds of confusion, especially in a dark area. Maybe I should keep it on a camera though so I'd also get their mug shot. :biggrin:
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