Saturday, November 20, 2010

85mm 1.2 Awesomeness

So yesterday I pulled Jerry, the maintenance guy at my apartment complex, in my apartment for a few minutes to do a couple of quick available light portraits of him with the most excellent Canon 85mm 1.2 lens. I'm totally blown away by that lens -- just look at how creamy the bokeh is on these two shots. The depth of field at F1.2 is maybe a half-inch to a inch, which creates stunning portraits.

Click on each shot to view it at a larger size.

  The second of these two shots is what I was aiming to get when I asked to do the portraits of him -- a very straightforward and honest portrait. No smiling, and no retouching. After having processed it I realized it has a very eerie and creepy quality to it. It's not because of how he looks, but the combination of the extremely shallow depth of field, the absence of a smile and the light just makes it feel almost ghostly. 

  The first shot with him smiling represents the Jerry I know more -- and I think it's a excellent portrait of him. It's kinda amazing what kind of difference a smile can make in a photo. The moral of the story is for the guys out there that seem to think they are too much of a man to so much as crack a grin for the camera. Do you wanna look like friendly outgoing guy, like Jerry does in the first shot? Or do you wanna look like somebody you might find in the sex offender registry -- like Jerry does in the second shot? Don't be doo-doo heads you guys, smile for the photographer when he asks you to -- it's for your own good.

So anyway, I think the shot of Jerry not smiling is the stronger of the two because it has more impact due to the eerie nature of it. But the one of him smiling certainly shows sooo much more personality. It is a better representation of him. It's amazing how giving somebody a genuine smile/laugh can change how they react and respond to you as a person -- and these two shots are a great example of that.

Which one is your favorite? 

1 comment:

j. macdonald said...

given the choice between smile and no smile, i always opt for the smiling portrait. both of your examples are great however. just different.