Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cropping a medium format digital portrait

One of the picture taken during a session with this beautiful model. Taken with Phase One P45+ on Contax 645, with Carl Zeiss Planar 80/2, this image is cropped from a larger head and shoulder, 1/2 body shot. The 39 million pixels back allow the crop but there is another reason. When taking a close up portrait, one might use a smaller camera and get closer to arrive at the file size equal or even greater than one taken with digital back, it is a simple math, but not always true.
The distance between model and camera is important, so as the focal length is used. Getting to far away, you lost certain intimacy with the model, getting too close, some model may start to feel a little uncertainty so you want to stay at a optimized distance from the model, of course, this may varied from one model to another, or one photographer to another.
And the use of focal length? Equally important. When taking portrait, I use mostly fixed focal lens, not much for its usually superior optical quality, but you can train the lens and moving with the camera to get the right composition, to me, the framing will have more intensity than otherwise, of course, this is a subjective matter. Depend on the subject and approach of the image style, I do believe the certain focal length project different perspective and emotion from others. Telephoto gives a compressed point of view that make the subject far away from the viewer, less friendly, or some wider angle lens gives a widened perspective that you lost the precise sense of space.
So coming back to this subject, why I shot this with a normal lens and crop it later for a tight composition? Why not, for example an Apo-Makro-Planar 120/4 or Planar 140/2.8 or even 210/4? I want a natural and normal perspective from the 80/2, and take advantage of the high resolution digital back to allow me to crop an image that is more pleasing, at least to me. Grains were added in post process.

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