Fashion Photography, Headshots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by br.avery, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. br.avery macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #1
    I'm getting into fashion photography and headshots for actors..

    I have a few questions with the 50mm f/1.8 lenses.

    1. When I take pictures using the viewfinder instead of Live View, does it automatically focus the picture for me?
    2. When I take pictures using Live View, do I have to focus using the lens ring?
    3. Does the 50mm f/1.8 have zoom? If not, is it only for close up shots?
    4. Whats a good lens that has good bokeh, and can produce wide aperture images like the 50mm but CAN zoom?
    5. What lenses do you recommend for fashion photography?

    Any questions answered will be very much appreciated!
     
  2. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #2
    1. Yes, there's autofocus, but you'll have to initiate autofocus (I assume you won't be using manual focus) which is usually mapped to half-pressing the shutter button. You should see the image come into focus, and I have my camera set to double-beep when focus is confirmed.
    2. No. I don't know of any camera models that have Live View with no focusing method. I think all manufacturers (don't quote me on this though) have slow contrast-based AF that doesn't interrupt the image and a faster AF mode that involves interrupting the image to allow the mirror to flip and let the sensor get a reading. You can zoom in on the image and focus manually for super-precision.
    3. No, it's a prime lens, which means there's no zoom. The tradeoff being, you get a much wider aperture with low-light capabilities. The "nifty-fifty" lenses also usually don't have terrific macro performance without extension tubes. I'll assume you're using the Canon 50mm f/1.8 (you didn't supply any make), so I should probably say that the minimum focus distance is 1.5 feet. The minimum focus distance should be stated on the barrel of the lens, anyways.
    4. That's quite a dream lens you're asking for. Most low-light zooms go as open as f/2.8, so you're losing some of the wide aperture but gaining the ability to zoom. These lenses aren't exactly cheap. One that comes to mind on the Canon side of things is the EF 24-70 f/2.8L. Sounds like a convenient enough focal length, but I've never shot fashion.
    5. Oops, I didn't see the "headshots" in the title. The nifty fifty is great when stopped up, but often enough, for headshots lighting is key and will make the biggest difference in the shot. Keep that in mind.
     
  3. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502

    RedDragon870503

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    #3
    I assume you are working with Canon?
    1 and 2: Yes, the camera will auto focus in live view. However, it is much slower than through the viewfinder.
    3: No, the only lenses that zoom have a range listed. eg, 70-300 or 18-55.
    4: Bokeh is dependent on several factors. Two important factors are a low f/ such as 1.8 or 2.8 and shutter elements. This might be something you are interested in: Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM Wide Angle Zoom Lens. Be aware, the price exponentially increases after that prime 1.8 lens you are referring to.
    5. The 1.8 is a GREAT place to start, I have one and think it is the best bargain of any of the lenses I own.
     
  4. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #4
    I really think you need to go to a camera shop and have a look for yourself. Anyway, here come the answers;

    The viewfinder is when you are looking through the lens, so what you see in the viewfinder is what the image sensor will see when the shutter is opened. To autofocus, you have to half depress the shutter button. It won't focus on its own.

    From my understanding, Live View is manual focus only (it is on my 40D). I wouldn't recommend using live view for any sort of serious photography. It's good when the camera has to be in an awkward position, but when you have the camera on a tripod right in front of you, there's no reason not to use the viewfinder.

    The 50mm f/1.8 is a prime lens, which means it is fixed at one focal length. Lenses such as the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 are zoom lenses, which means they can change their focal length, generally by turning a zoom barrel on the lens.
    Assuming you are talking about the Canon lens, the 50mm f/1.8 has a minimum focus distance of 0.45 metres, giving a maximum magnification of 0.15x. It isn't a macro lens.

    Prime lenses generally have a wider maximum aperture than zoom lenses. For example, Canon's fastest zoom lenses have an aperture of f/2.8, which is about 2 stops slower than f/1.8. If you are doing fashion photography, there's no reason why you can't physically move the camera closer to the model rather than zooming.

    Out of interest, what do you define as 'good bokeh' and 'wide aperture images'?

    The 50mm f/1.8 will do a perfectly good job at fashion photography. Popular focal lengths are 50mm, 85mm and 135mm.
     
  5. RedDragon870503 macrumors 6502

    RedDragon870503

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2006
    #5
    Beat me to it with pretty much the same answer. :p
     
  6. br.avery thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #6
    Thank you so much littlecanonkid, reddragon, and scarlet fever for answering my questions, yes, I have a canon rebel xsi and the lenses are canon of course. I'm new to photography so I'm still learning alot of the basics.

    Check out some of the headshots I took today at work and let me know what you think :)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35980079@N07/
     
  7. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    #7
    No problem. :)

    I took a look at your photos, and I like this one the most. It shows personality, and isn't the pose you're expecting. Try and get the headshots to express the personality of the model--it makes for a more satisfying experience for the viewer. I view headshots more as a summary of the person captured in an image. :)

    Also, I noticed on some of the other shots you cut off a smidge of your model's hair off the tops. Watch that viewfinder! ;) Great work. I'm definitely no fashion photographer, and probably couldn't get past some social awkwardness to do headshots. Color me envious! :D
     
  8. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #8
    would the 35mm f/1.8 af-s be good for fashion photography/headshot?
     
  9. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #9
    no, because wide angle lenses tend to make the subject's face appear fatter. That is why longer lenses are preferred, as they make the face look thinner.

    A wide angle lens is ideal for a vehicle shot, where big bulges look better.
     
  10. 88888888 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
  11. VegasPhoto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #11
    If you're going to get serious with paid work, you will have to learn how to use light. Those shots are all very unattractive overhead lighting and they do nothing to flatter the subject.
     

Share This Page