Saturday, April 18, 2009

Portrait Photography: My Nightmare

I visited my friend Jonsern in Penang. He organized a portrait photography weekend for me apart from the usual eating and sight-seeing trip. I've never shoot portraitures seriously and I thought it would be a great idea to move out from my comfort zone of landscape photography and learn some new skills. Armed with the new 50mm f1.8 lens, I was eager and all ready for it.

Continuing my story from the previous post below, I said it was a blessing in disguise that I did not get the 35mm f1.8 lens; which is double the price of my 50mm. And this is the reason why. I first started shooting pictures with my prosumer camera with a whopping 12x optical zoom. After depending and living so long on zoom lenses, it's like a drug now which I cannot shake off. Zoom lenses are so convenient that I hardly need to move me feet when taking pictures. My composition skill and perspective are all rotten because of this. Moving on to DSLR, now I have the benefit of using prime lenses; like my new 50mm lens. Using prime lens for the first time in my first serious portrait photography, unfortunately it turned out to be a nightmare. I couldn't even compose the subject into the frame properly. Many shots turned out to be out of focus too. Feeling so frustrated, I changed back to my zoom lens in the latter session. The pictures are better, but still not outstanding. I come to the conclusion that I suck big time in portrait photography. I will stick to my landscape photography. I feel very sorry to the models for taking such bad pictures for them. Well, luckily I got the cheaper 50mm lens instead of the 35mm. Else, I will be crying over a wasted lens left collecting dust in the cabinet.

Click on the image for picture gallery

Click on the image for picture gallery


Tzy Wen said...

when shooting with the 50mm f1.8, what aperture did you use? the ultra thin depth of field @1.8 is usually the main cause of out of focus photos. slight changes in the distance between the camera and the subject after focus is locked will throw the subject out of focus.

usually i shoot at f2.8-f4, reserving 1.8 for low light conditions only.

btw, love the photo on the curvature of the earth. been wanting to shoot that for sometime already ;)

hoongji said...

yes i'm on 1.8 and a costly lesson learned. too obsessed in getting bokeh instead of taking care of the focus. thx for the tips.